Jim Collins and Great Leadership.

Jim Collins photo  Good to Great  Built to Last  How the Might FallJim Collins NOTE 01:
It happened a few months ago. I was realy caught off guard. I was talking with a younger leader (in their mid-twenties). I used the idea of BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious  Goals) that Jim Collins made popular in Built to Last. They had never heard that phrase. I said it came from leadership author Jim Collins. A blank stare! "Who is that" was the question?  "Wow!", I thought.  "How can someone in leadership not know about Jim Collins and the wealth of ideas he has contributed to the world of leadership?" After a moment of surprise, I explained the idea of BHAGs. 

That conversation got me thinking . . . 
It also sent me back to skim through Built to Last and revisit the BHAG idea again. As I was doing that, I found myself skimming through other parts of the book. Then I was no longer skimming, but dipping in. Suddenly I was camping out in Built to Last. I decided to settle in for a careful re-reading of this important book.

From my perspective, there are very few leadership consultants/authors who have had a greater influence then Jim Collins in the last twenty years. I have been privileged to hear him speak several times. One of those times was in a small seminar of about 50 participants. After his presentation, Collins had a Q&A time for about 30 minutes. He was personal, disclosing of his values and passion, and really cared about the questions raised by the small audience. I realized - here is an author that loves the subject of leadership and really cares about organizations and those who lead them.

I have been a Raving Fan of Jim Collins ever since I read his book - Built to Last. His next book, Good to Great was so popular that it overwhelmed the great ideas in Built to Last. I have read Good to Great a half dozen times. I read the little monograph, Good to Great and the Social Sectors every year. Built to Last I read only one time (until my recent re-reading). 

Good to Great describes how good organizations can become great organizations.

Built to Last describes the factors that keep great organizations great and at the top of their world.

How the Mighty Fall, is the third book in the trilogy and it describes the reasons why formerly great organizations "fell" from their greatness and moved into significant decline.

I believe these three books provide as solid an understanding of organizational systems and leading those systems as you will find. While there are certaily additional models and insights provided by other authors, it turns out that I incorporate their insights into the big picture/model that Jim Collins provides in his triology of writings.

I have recently re-read these three volumes and I am going to post quite a few leadership notes in the next month or so based on these insights. I hope you will appreciate not only the individual insights Collins gives us, but even more, value the Big Picture Model he provides for great leadership of organizations.

Tomorrow - Objections Christians Might Raise to the Work of Jim Collins.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International