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Good to Great, Jim Collins

2010/06/05

“Good is the enemy of great.” “Level 5 leaders are a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.” “The presence of a gargantuan personal ego contributes to the demise or continued mediocrity of the company.” “In a good-to great transformation, people are not your most important asset. The right people are.”

Jim Collins’ “Good to Great” is one of those books that will be cited at least once, if not multiple times, in every good business or management course, and though quickly approaching its’ tenth anniversary of publication, Collins’ “Level Five Leaders” are needed in companies now more than ever. He argues that there is an unlimited number of potential level five leaders just waiting to be discovered and nurtured — people who can combine ambition, humility and modesty. Other models like the “hedgehog concept” — passion, being the best, and economics — and the culture of discipline are all ideas which are thoroughly discussed in today’s business classes and seminars.

Although this is a well-researched, oft-cited study of great companies, future adherents to the code of Collins need to remember that this is just one model of leadership. In the first chapter, the author himself encourages readers to “question and challenge what you learn… I offer everything herein for your thoughtful consideration, not blind acceptance.”

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