Good To Great By Jim Collins – This Book Will Make Your Business Great!

Good To Great by Jim Collins will show you the clear path to greatness in your business. I’ve shared this with friends that got the audiobook and loved it. Now I want to share it with you too. So in this article, you will get 10 takeaways that prepare you for greatness.

Good To Great by Jim CollinsThis is not sponsored, I like this book a lot. Good to Great by Jim Collins is a look inside the vault. This is an opening of the curtain at two types of companies. All were in similar places in their industries, but some soared, while others didn’t. In fact, the one’s that did not soar, fell off.

Good To Great By Jim Collins: 10 Key Takeaways

He shares everything you need from both angles. What the Great companies did or didn’t do, and what the not-so-great companies did or didn’t do.

He breaks the book down into three areas. Let’s call them the three D’s. Disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action.

In each of these areas there are key things he mentions. The 10 points I will share today come from all 3 areas.

This is not part of the 10 but I’m giving an honourable mention to the quotes in the book. He starts every chapter with quotes and I liked them.

The 1st Words In Good To Great Are Special: Key Takeaway #1

The first words in the book helped me take a deep sigh of relief.

A recent story will help you understand this.

I was getting some artwork designed recently which represents my brand. I asked for some feedback from a group of business owners. The feedback was excellent.

They helped take what I wanted, to a new level. As we talked more about the artwork we made it better.

We would discuss different angles and take notes. I would then go back to the designer and present the feedback. When the designer sent it back, we did the same thing again.

Years ago I would have an idea, get it made and release it. I thought I had all the answers. Things have changed for the better over the years.

But we got to a point where most were happy. On this occasion, I knew there was more.

I said I would get a few more changes. Someone said it’s good. And my response was “Good is the enemy of great”.

I took the artwork, made the last few changes and made it great.

There were no hard feelings. Everyone understood, but that wasn’t always the case.

For large parts of my life I’ve felt like few people understand me. There’s times I’ve questioned if I’m normal. Like, why is no-one understanding what I’m saying or thinking.

Part of that was me. But part of this was realising, not everybody wants the same things. Some people like to be slaves to a 60 hour a week job. Some are comfortable getting paid to login and work from home with no fulfilment.

Not me.

To breakout of this system, you must defeat this enemy. And Jim Collins tells you who one of the enemies are right away.

He starts the book with these words…

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.”

As I read these words I took a sigh of relief as I thought over scenarios from years past where people didn’t get it.

Times when things were going well, but I wanted things to get better. There wasn’t something wrong with me. It’s not always you self-sabotaging.

There are times when others are fine with good, but you know there’s much more for you.

It’s you pursuing greatness. And that’s fine. Reading those words reminded me, there is nothing wrong with you pursuing greatness.

Road Trips With My Dad: Takeaway #2 From Good To Great

I remember road trips as a young boy with my dad and brothers. We would go on these car rides that seemed like hours.

We’d ask my dad…

“how long’s left until we get there?”

“Are we there yet?”

“what’s taking so long?”

“Did we go the wrong way?”

We would ask these questions as if my dad didn’t know where we were going, but he did. And although he would say a time, we would still ask minutes later as if he didn’t already answer.

My children do it to me now, so it’s kind of funny.

But the point is,

when you know where you’re going, sometimes it takes long, but keep going. Stay on the correct route and don’t change because of the noise. Click To Tweet

That is one of the things I realised, as I read from page 12-13. One thing he talks about in the first section “Disciplined people” is the Level 5 leader.

Level 5 Leadership

All the companies that became great, had a level 5 leader.

As he explains the type of person this was, I’m thinking to myself,

“that’s how I am in many ways. But why am I not part of this great and successful company”

Well, I started thinking how, I thought this was not the type of person that is successful. You need to be loud, cutthroat and take no prisoners.

These were things I had taken on in the past and got some results. But those were things level 4 leaders did.

Level 4 leaders are the ones he found in all the companies that were not great and fell off.

But it made sense. You are more likely to see a level 4 leader on social media. And if you’re not careful, they might trick you into thinking you need to be this way. But you’d be wrong.

They may have success for a season, but it is not going to last.

This is like the 1st point in my article on the 4 steps to make $10,000 a month in your business.

And it’s the kind of thing I mentioned fighting against in my article on imposter syndrome.

As I read about the type of leader you need to be, to become great, the thing that kept ringing in my head was…”Keep going”.

Keep doing the right things and it’s only a matter of time before you arrive. Even if it seems like the journey is taking long. Click To Tweet

And that’s what discipline is at the end of the day isn’t it?

6 Pages In Good To Great That Transforms Businesses: Key Takeaway #3

There’s six pages where he talks about decisions these 2 groups of businesses made. Before I talk about that because it’s important, I want to read something from page 69.

Under the heading Facts are better than dreams, he starts by saying,

“One of the dominant themes from our research, is that breakthrough results come about by a series of good decisions, diligently executed and accumulated, one on top of another.”

In simple terms, make good decisions, repeat it, and breakthrough results come. Kind of like what I was saying about the car journey.

But what does this look like? From page 54-59 he shares examples.

Examples In Good To Great That Make Your Business Special

Some things he talks about are,

  • Firing people.
  • Endless restructuring.
  • Dress code/Presentation.

I talk about this a lot in my recent branding article.

He talks about not firing the wrong people fast enough. He talks about putting your best team members on the best opportunities.

As I’m reading these pages it’s making more sense. Years ago, I would stop working with someone the moment life got in the way for them one time.

Years ago, I would fire someone if they were not at the level I needed them. As much as I loved to grow, I had short patience for staff needing time to grow.

I always wanted to get the best deals on what I paid them. I would give hard critique with little or no praise.

Collins says, the great companies fired 5 times less than the other companies.

Everything falls into 2 categories. Great vs not great, wise vs foolish, and good vs bad.

On page 55 he shares an example of a company.

They focused on employees who were the last point of contact between them and the customers. He shares things these employees had to do.

Tell me if these are great, wise and good, or not great, foolish and bad.

They must,

  • Wear company uniform.
  • Shave.
  • Not smell bad.

Could you imagine someone working for you who smells bad as he delivers your product? Imagine me talking and my clothes are dirty or ripped up. Or if this page looked terrible.

Everything you do is telling a story to people. A great one, or a not so great one. You decide though.

Everything Will Be Great: Key Takeaway #4

Is this glass half empty or half full?glass half full or half empty?I always felt I was a positive person. But a few years ago, I started being even more intentional with seeing things in a positive way. But I realised something.

I’m not as positive as I thought. To get to the next level, I need to be even more positive.

Jim shares a concept which has worked for thousands of years.

He called it the Stockdale paradox. The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale who got taken prisoner during the Vietnam war. He got tortured over 20 times, over an 8 year period but lived to tell the tale.

The Stockdale Paradox

Why did the admiral survive? In his own words he says,

“I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which in retrospect, I would not trade.”

He was able to do two things at the same time. Every company that became great did the same in adversity.

The paradox is this…

Remain faithful you will win in the end, despite difficulty. And at the same time, confront the brutal facts of the situation.

So if he believed this’s his life’s defining moment, but said he was not in prison, that’s positive but untrue.

If he lacked faith he’d survive, but accepted he was in prison, he would likely die like other’s he talks about.

But if he believed no matter what he will make it out, but accepted he was a prisoner at that moment, he would be great.

It’s a paradox, but something that empowers you to reach levels you could never imagine. I talked about this in my article on how to make this year the best year of your life.

John Maxwell says in his book Today Matters

“when you do things you thought were impossible, you become a new person”.

It’s true.

It’s the same thing as the paradox. When you realise you will succeed, regardless of the obstacles in your way, few things can stop you.

You can find something positive in every situation. This gets easier as well, the more you do it.

“Rent Please”: Key Takeaway #5

I want to bring that car journey back up from earlier, because it’s relevant here. One of the games I loved playing as a child and still enjoy today is Monopoly.

And this is an important example in the book. Collins shows you how greatness can be within your grasp, but you can lose it.

Hasbro had signs of greatness but they had what I call “diet not lifestyle”.

If my dad at any moment stopped the car, or turned around because of our questions, we wouldn’t arrive.

This is what Jim says about companies like Hasbro who made childhood fun with these games.

He says on page 108…

“The Hasbro case reinforces a vital lesson. If you successfully apply these ideas, but then stop doing them, you will slide backward, from great to good, or worse.”

You must keep applying. This is why for almost 20 years I never lost weight. Because until I switched my mindset from diet to lifestyle, it never worked.

Do you want to be great for a season or forever? You need to keep driving and never stop.

Slowing Down Is Speeding Up…Sometimes: Key Takeaway #6

This is a hard one but so necessary today. Two years ago I cut back much of the content I was making. I stopped making articles and videos in large part and the audience I built shrank.

I’m sure some thought I was gone forever and my demise was at hand. But something else was happening.

As painful as it was to do, I was realigning everything I was doing. This is why you are reading this article today.

God told me to slow down. Once I slowed down, within months, things became clear. Clearer than I’d seen in a while. I was able to see the scenery on the road I was driving down. I was no longer zooming down the road like a mad man at 200mph.

Now I could see the turns I had missed.

It changed everything. Jim talks about driving through the “fog” before things become clear. Then breakthrough comes.

This is where fear sets in for most.

You’ve got bills so you can’t slow down…

You’ve got to keep up with the Jones’…

You’ve got to post a fake perfect life on social media.

Forget all that. That is how foolish, poor, never going to be great people live.

This is why 95% of people are slaves in a job. That is exactly what the system wants.

Sometimes you must slow down to speed up forever. It’s so worth it. Click To Tweet

ME ME ME: Key Takeaway #7

Speaking of things poor people do, this is a big one. But when you’ve been living the paradox out, it’s much easier to defeat.

Think about the reasons I’ve shared in this article about why I struggled before.

I talked about,

  • Not being positive enough.
  • Thinking who I was, wasn’t good enough.
  • Making bad decisions.
  • Not living the life, only a diet.

The common theme is me. I am in control of myself, not something outside of me.

I did not say I’m missing some tool only the rich have access to. I did not say, if I had money like Dave Ramsey, people would buy my book too.

Dave Ramsey put the work in. He’s fought to get where he is. And I love people like Dave Ramsey, because they show you how to escape the trap.

It’s not because of shiny objects that will save you. God has given you everything you need to succeed.

On page 148, he talks about technology. Some people think it’s the platform, or the tool that makes somebody great.

No. The people are great, and they use tools to show their greatness.

Jim writes…

“The hedgehog concept would drive it’s use of technology, not the other way around.”

Meaning, shorts took off a few years ago, millions stopped what they were doing and went all in on shorts.

They saw established brands have and speak of their success with shorts. Then they thought, because brands grew, they would too.

The brands saw how shorts, or any new technology fit into their system. Then they acted.

They were great before shorts, and will be great after. If you were not great before, why would you be great after?

You must take the journey. Do great things for long enough, then great results show up. It’s not the tools, its you.

That was a big insight for me because I’ve believed this for years. But seeing data like this helped a lot.

Miracle Moments: Key Takeaway #8.

I do not have a problem with shorts. I use them, but do not believe they will create success for my business.Daily Prayers I could use many examples in it’s place. A.I is the big new wave on the block. We must be serious about them, but all the great companies never rely on a tool.

And all the great companies knew, it takes time on the journey before greatness comes.

The data shows they did not have what he called any “Miracle moment”. Today we should call it any “microwave moment”.

We live in a time where most want something fast. Something instant. That’s not the way greatness works.

Stay in your lane and enjoy the ride. Breakout comes from consistency, not from inconsistency.

On page 169 he writes…

“After pushing on that flywheel in a consistent direction over an extended period of time, they’d inevitably hit a point of breakthrough.”

There are anomalies. People who break this mould. But this is the blueprint to greatness.

The Blueprint In Good To Great To Escape The Trap: Key Takeaway #9

Remember I talked about slowing down to speed up forever. You must do this to avoid what he talks about on page 178.

This is the journey millions of people take, and they never leave. He writes about the companies that didn’t soar…

They sought the single defining action, the grand program, the one killer innovation, the miracle moment that would allow them to skip the arduous buildup stage and jump right to breakthrough. They would push the flywheel in one direction, then stop, change course, and throw it in a new direction – and then they would stop, change course, and throw it into yet another direction. After years of lurching back and forth, the comparison companies failed to build sustained momentum and fell instead into what we came to call the doom loop.

Things never change living this way. It’s like the mice running on the hamster wheel. It will keep circling until it dies.

Saving The Best Till Last: Key Takeaway #10

One of the great things about this book is, all major action steps align with principles found in the Bible. So it’s no surprise this book isn’t just good, it’s great.

So let me know what you think about the book.

Go Win And God Bless.

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He’s learning to serve the Christian community better and better each day through his teaching on the Bible (both theory and practical application for everyday life). Israel Ikhinmwin loves to share the truth of God’s Word and be an example for other Christians looking to develop your faith.

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