Good to Great
Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Other Don’t
“Good to Great” is an exploration into the key factors that have transformed good companies into great companies (Collins, 2001). The book works from empirical data to build a fact based theory while urging the reader to remain impartial and to draw his/her conclusion based on the evidence presented. It identifies the key characteristics unique to 11 companies (Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney-Bowes, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo) that have transitioned from good to great and sustained greatness for at least 15 years. Collins has broken down the findings of his team into a multi-phased concept that details the entire process: Level 5 Leadership, First Who…Then What, Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith), The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity Within Circle Three), A Culture of Discipline, Technology Accelerators, The Flywheel and the Doom Loop, and From Good to Great to Built to Last. 1.0 Level 5 Leadership
Which is harder to cultivate within yourself: humility or will? There is a saying that I’ve often heard in professional settings, “Smart leaders surround themselves with smart people.” Level 5 leaders are extremely humble in that they attribute the success of the organization to external factors, giving credit to their team, or undefined factors such as luck. However, when the organization experiences negative results these leaders contribute the cause to internal factors pointing the finger at him/her self. However, these leaders have incredible resolve in the face of adversity. They are risk takers, willing to discontinue long held traditional products or services, moving the organization into a new direction with new products or services to advance the organization. Level 5 leaders were described as “plow horses” in comparison to good leaders who were described as “show horses.” Level 5 leaders are willing to get in the...
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