Friday, June 17, 2005

Good To Great

After listing the books I was going to read I ended up working on another one first. (It's hard to resist birthday presents!) Good to Great, by Jim Collins is a study about why some companies are able to make the leap to great and others are not. I first had it recommended to me by a businessman I got talking to in the airport sometime last year. Then a friend recommended it to me a couple of weeks ago. If you are into leadership development or want to know how your company or organization could run more effectively I would recommend this book for sure and I haven't even completed it yet.

A couple of things I have enjoyed and/or found interesting thus far:

1. All of the companies that were studied that went from good to great had what they refer to as Level 5 leaders. A Level 5 leader "Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will." When these Level 5 leaders were interviewed they always credited their success to the people around them and their failures to themselves. The companies that didn't achieve "great" had leaders that were larger than life and had come in to save the company. These leaders were sometimes so strong that when they left the company the company fell apart because leadership wasn't cultivated throughout the company. These leaders often took the credit for their success and blamed failures on others.

It was interesting to me that the "great" leaders were the humble ones that didn't want the glory. Part of me was saying of course, that's the way it's supposed to be. That's the way Christ modeled it for us. When I've thought of these Fortune 500 companies in the past I would have envisioned their CEO as a ruthless Trump-like businessman. From what I've read so far maybe my assessment isn't that far off except when looking at the "great" companies.

2. "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end - which you can never afford to lose - with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be." What a great quote! Especially for an optimist like me. I often forget or just don't confront the most brutal facts of my current reality. Good reminder though.

3. Passion is important. The "great" companies' leadership all shared a passion for the work they did. Am I working for something I am passionate about or could get passionate about? Most certainly! I wouldn't be in my current job if I had no passion for what I do. If I worked for a company that sells car parts could I get passionate about that? I don't know. I'm not sure that I could but I could get passionate about the way the company deals with people. All of the "great" companies had employees/leadership that somehow found a way to be passionate about their work.

Some really great findings in this book! And I'm only halfway through. I'll report back when I finish.




Stat Counter

  © Blogger template The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP