Bach on Books: Good to Great – Part I

Good to Great by Jim Collins

‘Good is the enemy of great.’  After reading this book, I definately agree.

Good to Great is the result of a five year research study Jim Collins undertook with the help of his research team.  They set out to discover what good companies can do to become Great companies, and what they found were five very important things that Great companied did every time, that the comparison companies did not do:

  1. Level 5 Leadership
  2. First Who… Then What
  3. Confront the Brutal Facts (yet never lose faith)
  4. The Hedgehog concept
  5. A culture of discipline

Level 5 Leadership
In every case, the good-to-great companies had Level 5 Leadership during their pivotal transition years.  A Level 5 Leader is a ‘paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will.  They are ambitions, but ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves.’  Level 5 leaders, in 10 of 11 cases, came from within the company – going against the current trend of parachuting in the Wall Street wunderCEO to lead the company.  The level 5 leaders all had succession plans in place that took care of their company, while lesser CEO’s made sure to keep talented executives at an arm’s length for fear they might be usurped by them.  Level 5 leaders are resolved to do whatever it takes to make the company great, regardless of the size of the challenge, or how hard it may look.  Level 5 leaders are humble;

First Who… Then What
Get the right people on the bus.  “If you start with ‘who’ rather than ‘what’ you can more easily adapt in a changing world.” While discussing the difference between Eckerd (the comparison company) and Walgreens (the good-to-great company), Collins says this:  “Jack Eckerd had a genius for picking the right stores to buy, Cork Walgreen had a genius for picking the right people to hire.  Wheres Eckerd had a gift for seeing which stores should go in what locations, Walgreen had a gift for seeing which people should go in what seats. ”

Part II of the review to follow shortly…

Benjamin Bach is a Sales Representative with Keller Williams Golden Triangle Realty in Kitchener Waterloo. He is passionate about building wealth for his clients, and loves nothing more than to help people start building equity and get on the road to financial freedom and abundance. He wakes up each morning excited to fulfill his mission of building wealth for his clients through comprehensive Real Estate investment planning, and helping people achieve success. If you are interested in how you can start your Real Estate portfolio, or have any questions about buying a home or selling a home, you can email Benjamin (benjamin AT or reach him at 519 772 4376.

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