Good to Great

This is my favorite leadership book. It is for so many people. Collins talks about companies that have made the transition from good companies to great companies. Fascinating section on level five leaders who combine personal humility and professional resolve, and on getting the right people in the right seats on the bus. But there’s so much more.

This book has had a remarkable impact on companies, churches and all kinds of organizations.  It is based on solid research from a team of researchers, and Collins is a superb communicator.

The result is a book that is both fascinating and helpful.

The research team studied companies that made the transition from good companies to great companies.  Here are their key findings:

  • Level 5 Leaders.  Leaders who combine personal humility with professional resolve.
  • First Who … Then What.  Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and then figure out where to drive the bus.
  • Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith).  Be completely honest about facing the current reality and yet never lose hope that you will ultimately prevail.  This is the Stockdale paradox, named after Jim Stockdale who led the POWs in the Hanoi Hilton.The Hedgehog Concept.  Find out what you can be the best in the world at and then focus on that.
  • A Culture of Discipline. You need disciplined people, disciplined thought and disciplined action.  You need a culture of discipline.
  • Technology Accelerators.  Technology by itself does not ignite transformation but it can be used to accelerate transformation.
  • The Flywheel Effect.  Transformation will not happen in one fell swoop.  Momentum is gradually built up until the flywheel is spinning rapidly.

This is by no means a dry book on leadership.  It is peppered with stories and anecdotes.  It is full of seasoned insight.  Overall, I count this book the most helpful book on leadership that I’ve read.