Why I like this book so much!!!
I first read this book a number of years ago and have since made it a practice to read it at least once annually. This book has had a huge impact on my leadership practices from the first reading and continues to influence my leadership today. Jim Collins unpacks the key practices of companies that have made the journey from being just good to becoming truly great companies. Collins and his research team study numerous companies to determine the key characteristics that differentiate great companies from those who are merely good companies. They sought out to answer the question of ‘what could merely good companies do to become great?’
Here is the breakdown of the answers they found during their research.
The 8 Key Good to Great Practices
- Level 5 leadership
- First Who, Then What
- Confront the Brutal Facts
- The Hedgehog Concept
- A Culture of Discipline
- Technology Accelerators
- The Flywheel and the Doom Loop
- Built to Last
In my upcoming blogs I will unpack summaries of each of these eight practices that Collins lays out as the keys to taking a good organization on a successful journey to becoming a great organization.
Here is a summary of some of the key things I have learned through the years of studying this book:
- Great companies are almost never led by the celebrity executives that the media spends a great deal of time celebrating and profiling. Instead, great companies are led by leaders who exhibit personal humility and a great professional will.
- Having the right people on the bus in the right seats takes priority over developing a great strategy and attempting to motivate people to execute. Get the right people in the right places and they will execute effectively delivering superior results.
- Keep It Simple. Great companies have a distinct ability to determine their core focus, ‘what they can do better than anyone else in the world’, and deliver the message of that focus area in a simple easily understandable manner so that everyone in the organization is clear about what the organization’s objectives are.
- Culture of discipline. Great companies have a culture of discipline that is easily identifiable by observing the practices of the organization’s team members. This culture of discipline is fundamental to driving the organization to achieve great results.
- Technology is an accelerator of a company’s success, not the catalyst of their success. Great companies are selective about which technology the embrace. Once they embrace a certain technology they use it as a tool to speed up the effectiveness of their growth to a great company. Great companies pioneer the effective application of such technologies.
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