There is No “Good Enough” Anymore

The Difference: When Good Enough Isn't Enough by Subir Chowdhury - employee engagement

I recently read The Difference: When Good Enough Isn’t Enough1 by Subir Chowdhury. It resonated with me given his focus on creating a caring mindset.  In the context of employee engagement, I’m providing some highlights of the book so you’ll have the tools you need to create a caring mindset.





“This book is aimed at overcoming a fallacy that too many of us, in today’s hectic, demanding times, have succumbed to – that good enough is good enough. What I have found, in my decades of work with many of the top leaders in business, is that we have to do better than good enough. We have to strive for excellence. And that process and way of thinking all begins with developing a caring mindset.”2


A Caring Mindset

Where a caring mindset prevails, the truth is valued, people strive to understand one another, concessions are resisted in favor of seeking the best possible results or outcome, and people recognize that quality is everyone’s business.”3

“We are suffering an epidemic of dissatisfaction with our organizations and the institutions that we rely on. This epidemic is driven by a nationwide mindset of indifference.”4

“Where an indifferent mindset prevails, truth is elusive. People no longer strive to understand one another’s point of view. Concessions are accepted because they are easier to deal with than seeking the best possible result. Blaming others is the norm, and people are satisfied with a good-enough result rather than exceptional results.”5

“There are four facets of the caring mindset – what I sum up as the difference.”6 It is a list that gives us a useful and memorable acronym: STAR.”7


S: Being Straightforward

“As adults, adopting a caring mindset is a life choice we make. It requires honesty, openness, candor and straightforwardness in every conversation and interaction we have – with colleagues, bosses, and customers, with friends and family.”8

People tend to act less straightforward out of either greed, fear, or pride.”9

  • Greed: “Personal fulfillment is not about achieving financial wealth alone; it is about self-respect and personal integrity.”10
  • Fear: “Openness and transparency decrease exponentially. We hide the truth or fake our emotions.”11
  • Pride: “Ego.” “Too often senior leaders don’t acknowledge their problems. And when they do, they hide them.”12


T: Being Thoughtful

Being thoughtful is a two-step process. The first step involves listening: at work, to your customers and your employees; at home, to your spouse and to your children; in your personal life, to your doctor, elders, trusted friends, or experts.”13

Listening to others purposefully involves not just hearing what they have to say, but trying to put yourself in their shoes. It involves empathy and understanding.”14

“Empathy requires that your attempt to identify with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another person.” “There are four aspects to empathy.” 15

  • Understanding16
  • “We must make sure that everything in our lives is not about me; it must be about someone else.”17
  • “Each of us is but a very tiny speck in the universe”18
  • “Kindness is an action. It is the doing part of empathy.”19

A: Being Accountable

“I use the term being accountable to mean accepting responsibility for one’s actions or inaction, in matters for which you are obligated or answerable.”20

There are five factors involved in being accountable: (1) being aware that something needs to be done, (2) taking personal responsibility for it, (3) making a choice or decision to act, (4) thinking deeply about the potential consequences of that choice, and (5) setting high expectations.”21

R: Having Resolve

“Resolve means having the passion, determination, and perseverance to find a solution to a problem or improve a situation. To me resolve requires humility and a willingness to change.”22




“Practicing a caring mindset is first and foremost about selflessness, about making a difference for others.” 131 “The STAR system is not a step-by-step process. You don’t need to embrace, practice, and develop the four aspects of a caring mindset in any particular order. But you do need to practice and incorporate them all to create a caring mindset.”23




In what ways can you be more straightforward, thoughtful, accountable, and resolute?  What are your thoughts on Subir Chowdhury’s STAR system?



1 Chowdhury, Subir. The Difference: When Good Enough Isn’t Enough. 1st ed. New York: Crown Business, 2017. Print.
2 Ibid., p. 12.
3 Ibid., p. 34
4 Ibid., p. 36
5 Ibid., p. 34
6 Ibid., p. 36
7 Ibid., p. 37
8 Ibid., p. 47
9 Ibid., p. 50
10 Ibid., p. 51
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid., p. 53
13 Ibid., p. 64
14 Ibid., p. 65
15 Ibid., p. 72
16 Ibid
17 Ibid., p. 74
18 Ibid., p. 76
19 Ibid., p. 79
20 Ibid., p. 81
21 Ibid., p. 83
22 Ibid., pgs. 102-103
23 Ibid., pgs. 130-131



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