How the Mighty Fall

Jim Collins is always helpful, always interesting. He has written “Built to Last” on how good companies endure and “Good to Great” on how companies move from good to great.  This is a brief book on why good companies falter and how they can recover.  The principles apply to churches also.

Key Learnings:

  1. If your company does well, don’t take too much credit.  Be humble.
  2. Be forever inquisitive.  Be a learner.  “How can we improve?”  Sam Walton was learning at the end of his life.  (The first two go together.)
  3. Never focus on growth.  Focus on your core purpose and the growth will come.
  4. Key danger sign of decline:  When you get fewer and fewer of the right people in the key seats.
  5. What are the key seats?  Do you have the right people in them?
  6. The right people think of their responsibilities, not their job.  If asked, “What do you do?” they do not respond with a title but with their responsibilities.
  7. Do not deny the brutal facts or harsh reality.  If there is bad news, face it.
  8. Do not blame external factors for your problems (i.e. the economy).
  9. The team meetings must be characterized by vigorous discussion, solid reasons, a unified response.  Not by group think or unsupported opinions.
  10. Don’t desperately lurch from one major plan to the next.
  11.  Never give up.  Like Churchill, refuse to quit.
  12.  Always have a sense of urgency, no matter how things are going.  (Not a sense of crisis, but urgency.)