Good to Great:
Why Some Companies Make the LEAP… and Others Don’t

| Author: Jim Collins, 2001 |

What’s it all about?
You know that great feeling when you go back to something and you forgot how awesome it really was? Well that was what it was like going back to this memorable, eye opening study on leadership, business, and results.
In his book, ‘Good to Great’, Jim Collins created a timeless classic. With the effort of 21 staff doing research for 5 years, the credibility of his findings is through the roof. This read resets you and leaves you with a clear mindset.
Through this study of 1435 companies, 11 stood out to meet the final criteria. What surprised even the author, was just how much of the data could be directed to the style of leadership in the organizations; the importance of having the right people and the right leadership.

Collins breaks things down into these 5 main topics:

Level 5 Leadership: A surprising style required for greatness
The Hedgehog Concept: Finding your three circles, to transcend the curse of competence
A Culture of Discipline: The alchemy of great results
Technology Accelerators: How good-to-great companies think differently about technology
The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Why those who are frequently restructuring fail to make the leap

Favorite Quote

'The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake.'

Biggest takeaway

I first received this book from my management team when it was published in 2001. It will always be special to me, as it came from the top of the organization and they were committed to drive our company to greatness, and it really felt that way.
The were many things that stuck with me, after I read it that first time. The one that resonated with the entire company, was the bus metaphor.
Success starts with getting the right people in the organization first, that is by far the biggest factor for these companies. Then you need to get them on the right seat on the bus, and you may need to move them around a couple of times to find out where they blossom. First who, then what seat on the bus, then the direction. When I think of this book, I always picture a school bus.
Collins findings also lead to the concept that people are not your greatest asset – the RIGHT people are!
We see the attention to Emotional Intelligence on the rise in leadership and successful organizations, which resonates with the concept of leadership in this book. Invest in your people and once you determine they are the right people, coach each of them to get to become the best person they can be.
Although the book may be older and some of the companies did not continue to do well, you can not argue the facts. I believe today’s organizations can still benefit so much from these principles. Enjoy! These concepts are not going away.
I hope you find your seat on the bus!

Reviewed by: Trevor Blondeel