Book Report Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap… And Others Don’t (Jim Collins, 1996)

1802 words - 8 pages

Book Report

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t (Jim Collins, 1996)

In his book “Good to Great” Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" Collins and a devoted team of 22 researchers embarked to discover what transforms good companies into truly great companies. To begin the research for the Good-to-Great study, they searched for companies that: performed at or below the general stock market for at least fifteen years; then at a transition point began to pull away from the competition, and sustained returns of at least 3 times the general market for the next fifteen years. They started with a list of ...view middle of the document...

He is very good at working with his team members and ensures that his team meets its assigned objectives, and fulfills the core purpose. A Level 3 leader is a competent manager. He is skilled at organizing people and resources towards the effective pursuit of company objectives. A Level 4 leader is an effective leader. He sets high level performance standards. He is remarkable at motivating his people and leading them single-mindedly towards realizing his vision for the organization. A Level 5 leader transforms the organization into a great institution. As mentioned earlier, he embodies personal humility and professional will. Leaders do not need to work sequentially through each level to reach the top, but each higher level requires the capabilities of all the lower levels.

Another important character of level 5 leadership is the window and the mirror concept. Level 5 leaders look out the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck). At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly. In other words, level 5 leaders are very modesty. The level 5 leaders were seemingly ordinary people quietly producing unordinary results. Compared with Kimberly-Clark’s CEO, Scott Paper’s CEO, Al Dunlap, called himself a nickname: Rambo in Pinstripes in his book after selling off the company and pocketing his quick millions of dollars. 

The second factor is staffing and specifically getting the right people on the bus, but with a different way than we expect. A lot of companies first decide the job that has to be done, and then choose the right people to perform that job. Yet this concept is the opposite. First you bring the right people on the bus and then you leave these people to figure out what to do. According to Collins research this was a factor that helps companies from good to great. Bank of America versus Wells Fargo is the perfect case shows us how the concept works. Wells Fargo had been recruiting talented people into the company without any specific job, because the CEO believed that these smart people could help company to face and deal with the future changes and difficulties. Well Fargo was easy to adapt to a changing world when banking deregulation arrived. Moreover, Wells Fargo went three times higher than general stock market which the banking fell 59 percent behind. CEO of Wells Fargo, Dick Cooley a level 5 leader, understand three simple truths. First, if you begin with “who,” rather than “what,” you can more easily adapt to a changing world. Second, if you have the right people on the bus, there are no problem to motivate and manage people goes. Right people are self-motivated by the inner drive to produce the best results, and right people don’t need to be tightly managed, they know what they should or should not do. Third, if you have the...

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