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287 Jim Collins: Good to great

Companies can transform themselves from good to great by focusing on disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action

Jim Collins: Good to great


"Good to Great" is a book by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen that explores why some companies are able to make the leap from good to great, while others remain stuck in mediocrity. Based on years of research and analysis of companies across a range of industries, the authors identify several key factors that set great companies apart, including a focus on disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action. The book provides practical tools and strategies for leaders looking to transform their organizations, including insights on effective leadership, hiring and developing the right people, creating a culture of discipline, and executing strategic initiatives with precision. The ideas in "Good to Great" have been widely adopted by businesses and organizations around the world, making it a must-read for anyone looking to achieve long-term success.


Title: "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't"

Authors: Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen

Publishing Year: 2010

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Length in Hours: 10 hours and 1 minute

5 main ideas

  1. Great companies are able to transform themselves by focusing on disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action.
  2. Effective leadership is a key factor in the success of great companies, with leaders who are humble, focused, and driven by a sense of purpose.
  3. Great companies hire and develop the right people, creating a culture of discipline and commitment to the organization's values and goals.
  4. Great companies are able to confront harsh realities and make difficult decisions, while maintaining a strong sense of optimism and resilience.
  5. Great companies execute strategic initiatives with precision, using a combination of focus, discipline, and flexibility to achieve their goals.
Jim Collins: Good to great

5 funny quotes

  1. "Leadership is like the game of snakes and ladders – sometimes you climb to the top, and sometimes you slide back down."
  2. "Organizational culture is like a garden – you have to tend to it carefully to ensure it thrives."
  3. "Strategy is like a game of chess – you have to think several moves ahead to anticipate your opponent's next move."
  4. "Execution is like a relay race – you have to pass the baton smoothly and efficiently to achieve the best possible time."
  5. "Success is like a marathon – you have to pace yourself and stay focused on the finish line."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Good is the enemy of great."
  2. "Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice."
  3. "The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline."
  4. "The most successful leaders are those who are humble, ambitious, and ruthless."
  5. "The only way to do great work is to love what you do."

5 dilemmas

  1. The tension between short-term results and long-term growth, and the challenge of balancing the two effectively.
  2. The challenge of hiring and developing the right people, and how to identify and cultivate the characteristics that lead to success.
  3. The potential for complacency and lack of discipline to derail even the most successful companies, and how to maintain a sense of urgency and focus on continuous improvement.
  4. The challenge of navigating changing market conditions and disruptive technologies, and how to adapt and innovate while maintaining a sense of discipline and focus.
  5. The potential for conflicts of interest and ethical lapses to damage a company's reputation and undermine its success, and how to create a culture of integrity and ethical behavior.

5 examples

  1. The transformation of Walgreens from a good to great company, through a focus on disciplined people, thought, and action.
  2. The leadership of Darwin E. Smith, who transformed Kimberly-Clark from a mediocre company to a great one through his commitment to excellence and focus on disciplined action.
  3. The success of the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, which uses a system of radical transparency and honest feedback to drive innovation and growth.
  4. The story of David Maxwell, who transformed the struggling Fannie Mae into a highly successful company through his leadership and commitment to disciplined action
  5. The example of John Gutfreund, former CEO of Salomon Brothers, whose arrogance and lack of discipline contributed to the downfall of the company.

Referenced books

  1. "In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies" by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr.
  2. "The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail" by Clayton M. Christensen
  3. "First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently" by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
  4. "Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation" by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones
  5. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick Lencioni

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"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

Jim Collins: Good to great
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