leadership by Jim Collins

Jim Collins ends this “pre-quel” to “Built To Last” with these remarks: “Indeed the real question is not, “Why greatness?” but “what work makes you feel compelled to try to create greatness?” If you have to ask the question, “why should we try to make it great? Isn’t success enough?” then you’re probably engaged in the wrong line of work.” And “Perhaps your quest to be part of building something great will not fall in your business life…. Get involved in something that you care so much about that you want to make it the greatest it can possibly be…. When you do this, you will start to grow, inevitably, toward becoming a great leader.”


Disciplined People
·  Level 5 Leadership: leaders characterized as a paradoxical blend of humility and
professional will; they were cited as being more like Lincoln and Socrates than Patton or
·  First Who . . . Then What: supports the theory that before good-to-great leaders set a new
vision and strategy, they FIRST get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus,
and the right people in the right seats. THEN they figure out where to drive it. In this
context, “people are your most important asset” turns out to be wrong. People are NOT your
most important asset; the RIGHT people are.
·  Disciplined Thought
·  Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Loss Faith): Every good-to-great company embraced
what Collin’s titled “The Stockdale Paradox.” They maintained unwavering faith that they
could and would prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time had
the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of their current reality, whatever that might
have been.
·  The HedgeHog Concept (Simplicity Within the Three Circles): Going from good-to-great
transcends the curse of competence. If you cannot be the best in the world at your core
business, then your core business absolutely cannot form the basis of a great company. It
must be replaced by a simple concept that reflects deep understanding of three intersecting
·  Disciplined Action
·  A Culture of Discipline: When you have disciplined people you don’t need hierarchy; when
you have disciplined thought you don’t need bureaucracy; when you have disciplined action
you don’t need excessive controls. When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of
entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great performance.
·  Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of
technology; they never use technology as the primary means of igniting a transformation.
Yet, paradoxically, they are pioneers in the application of carefully selected technologies



A Level 5 Leader is a Highly Capable Individual who became a Contributing Team Member who became a Competent Manager who became an Effective Leader who finally became the Level 5 Executive.

Level 5 Leaders:
• Are ambitious and driven – first for their company and last for themselves.
• Set the stage for their successors through development and delegation vs. surrounding themselves with “yessirs” and perhaps, eventual dangerous leadership voids.
• Embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and ironclad professional will.
• Display modesty and understanding verses egocentrism.
• Are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results.
• Are more plow horses than show horses
• Have the ability to attribute success to factors external to themselves yet carry full responsibility for failures. Many executives in comparison companies do the exact opposite by taking all the credit for success assign blame for failure to any one but themselves. Level 5 Leaders often attribute their success to good luck not to their personal greatness.
• Are anything but celebrity executives. Most eschew the limelight and lead very private and modest lives. Dazzling celebrity leaders are too egocentric, short sighted and undisciplined to create sustained excellence in the long run

Get the right people on the bus before you do anything else. And once you think the right people are on the bus, make sure they are in their proper seats. What makes them the right people is that they have shared interests, the right energy and are eager to head in the direction the bus is going. If all the priority seats are taken and there’s no more room, then some riders will just have to get off. It may be an uncomfortable situation to reassign or eliminate them but it must be done
Based on the ancient Greek parable, “the fox knows many things, the hedgehog knows one big thing”. The hedgehog wins out over the fox’s continuing manipulations by constantly rolling into a ball with protruding spikes fending off attack after attack.the hedgehog takes one guiding principle, concept, process and sees a complex world become manageable …constantly utilizing a conceptual approach that is successful.
Hedgehog Concept : 1. What you can be the best at and what you cannot be the best at in the world. (Circle 1) 2. Exactly what generates and sustains robust cash flow and profitability. (Circle 2) 3. What you are deeply passionate about. (Circle 3)
You have to bring in the Right People riding your bus who all represent the 3 Circles in their thinking and who are:
• Talented with God-given gifts or who have become talented, • Capable of vigorous debate and dialogue. • Well paid for what they are doing. • Doing what they are deeply passionate about. • No ego. • Represent a range of perspectives and knowledge. • Key members of the executive team but others as well who fit the criteria. Not • every member of the executive team is automatically included. 
Institute “The Council” of individuals selected based on the above criteria, whose purpose is to ensure accountabilities by doing the following: • Ask Questions Based on the 3 Circles • Dialogue and Debate Based on the 3 Circles • Execute Decisions Based on the 3 Circles • Execute Autopsies and Analysis Based on the 3 Circles 
Then one step at a time, like applying discrete bits of effort on a huge flywheel, the energy of wheel begins to turn. Everything in the company slowly begins to move in the same deliberate direction until the breakthrough moment where sustained success happens without increasing effort,companies practiced the time-honored discipline of under promising and over delivering.The basic idea is that each piece of the system reinforces the other parts of the system to form an integrated whole that is much more powerful than the sum of the parts.