Good to Great

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Good to Great by Jim Collins Report
As the name implies, the author of the title “Good to Great,” embarked in a research study to try to discover what made some companies outstanding, persistent, and sustainable from their competitors. The author makes a clear distinction that the publication of the title is not meant to fill in the holes left behind on one of his previous titles, “Built to Last.” In fact, towards the ending of the research novel, the author states that if someone is going to make that assumption, or that “Good to Great” is a sequel to his previous book, “Good to Great” should be in fact the pre-sequel to the book “Built to Last.” After making the distinction about the two novels, the author moves on and narrows down what his research team have concluded to be the main factors/reasons why companies like Wells Fargo and Kroger are better or did a much better job despite their bad situation compared to their competitors. Jim Collins and his research teach come to conclude that some of the main factors, which I will summarize in detail later own are the following: Level 5 Leadership, First Who, Then What, Confront the Brutal Facts, The Hedge Hog Concept, and Technological Advancement. Beginning with Level 5 Leaders, Collins explains how a good company begins from the top-down. In order for a good company to succeed, there needs to be driven people at the top who are not only smart (though, they don’t have to be the smartest person in the room), but also have a clear vision and appreciation for the business. He describes how many of these level 5 leaders tend to have a “look at the window, look at the mirror vision.” Whenever they succeed, they never give themselves credit for the good things, these leaders always “look out the window” and credit luck, fellow colleagues, and employees. Now on the opposite side of the spectrum – when the company was doing badly – they would always “look at the mirror” and blame themselves for the success. Collins then compares these level 5 leaders to executives from competing firms, and what he found was that these executives where doing the opposite. During harsh times, executives would “look through the window” and blame everyone but themselves. They would blame politicians, consumers, regulations, etc. Of course during upsides, the executives were the reason why the company was doing well without ever giving credit to fellow employees, industry, etc. The pretty much sums up the level 5 leadership fact. Collins then moves on to explain that these leaders upon taking position of the hot seat instead of just assigning roles to others, they would look for people, people who they could trust and bring on the bus. He states that when you have the right people on the bus, you can all the sudden change directions and people will all be supportive because there is mutual trust among the members. He also shows how many of the top notch individuals that were brought under the bus of the top 5 leaders ended up working for the competitors because these individuals did truly know how to do the job as opposed to just are lucky. Moreover, the fact that they were integrated into a mentality you are not really going to accomplish a hard task unless you have the right people in your team, these new soon to be level 5 leaders were in the road to failure unless they had committed and trustworthy people under their bus. Something that I personally enjoy a lot about this book and in a way was against with the mentality learned from Shawn Anchor on his book “The Happiness Advantage” was the Stockdale paradox from the “Face the Brutal Facts Units.” Logically you would think that the more positive you are about yourself, your future, having hope will at the end give a positive result because you are not a quitter. What Collins and his research team discovered is that when people are too optimistic about their future, feel that they are too big to fail, they start to bury deeply...
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