Jim Collins goes from good to great.. by choice

Monday morning 7th May, ASTD2012 first general session… Ambiance of a rock concert… David Gray playing loud on the PA… Film camera men installed to capture Mr Collins’ speech on why some companies thrive despite chaos, uncertainty and luck… The answer? They are Great By Choice…


According to Jim Collins, “good” is the enemy of “great”. For the last 25 years, Collins has been at work researching what sets the truly great companies apart from the others. His numerous books and combined 6000 years of corporate evidence have outlined those differences.


What doesn’t make the difference?
According to Collins, circumstance is NOT the main ingredient. Greatness is found in some companies in some sectors, where others fail in the same circumstances.


What is the X-Factor in leadership? What is it that we need to be developing?
According to Collins, good companies have in common a hierarchy of 4 capabilities: Individual abilities, Interpersonal abilities, Managerial abilities, Leadership abilities…

What the great companies have is another level: This one goes to 5…

Level 5 = Humility, combined with will. The humility to not assume you know best and the will to surround yourself with others who do.


This first basic great leadership quality is complimented by a very particular way of functioning. A way of making choices based on 3 things:

  • Fanatic discipline
  • Empirical creativity
  • Productive paranoia

If you have this humility and make choices based on the 3 above things, you are set for greatness.


What to know more? Read the book 🙂



Thx for reading



Published by Dan Steer

For the last 17 years, I have been helping businesses and individuals to achieve their goals through delivery of tailor-made learning and development initiatives. Most of the time, I deliver training, coach individuals, facilitate brainstorming sessions, round-table meetings and workshops. As a consultant, I help my clients to promote and profit from the infinite learning opportunities within and without their own organisation, drawing on my L+D management experience, strategic approach and creativity, As a speaker, I inspire through story, humour and pertinent little bits of theory. I believe that the world would be a better place if people were happily working on their mission with competence and alignment to personal values. As a freelance worker since 2008, I have helped more than 11000 individuals to improve their presentation, communication, commercial, leadership and negotiation skills. I confront people with their own behaviour and convictions, facilitating and giving pertinent feedback and clear ideas on where to continue good work and improve. I seek to satisfy my clients with creative and to-the-point solutions… …and I make music, but no-one pays me much for it yet :-) First single here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0ShlY95X4E

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