By Jim Collins
Humility as defined by the dictionary is someone who is modest, who lacks pretence, someone who does not believe that he or she is superior to others. It struck us when Jim Collins used it as a context of leadership as an influential work Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...
Leaders have a deeper and more lasting influence on organizations and provide more comprehensive leadership if their focus extends beyond maintaining high standards. The leaders who seek and succeed in the spotlight do not convey what can be termed “Level 5 leadership” behaviours, wherein it refers to the highest level in a hierarchy of executive capabilities. This kind of leadership combines personal humility with intense professional will.
Jim Collins also mentioned that persisting great companies don’t exist merely to bring returns to stakeholders. In a great company, profits and cash flow are completely essential for life, but they are not the very point of life. It is important to determine the core values and purpose beyond simply by making money and merge this with the dynamic of protecting the core values.
We love his concept of the BUS. He used this metaphor to convey the importance of building the right team. Most of us experienced public transportation like buses. We think Collins have the Extraordinary School bus series in mind when he wrote the book. He told us to have the right people on the bus, and get the wrong people off the bus and make sure that those who are on the bus indeed occupy the right seat like for example those who are quiet students occupy the front seats while students who are loud and bullies usually occupy the back seat. With all that in place, we imagine a transport to some magical universe that will enable us to realize a concept that Collins wants to convey which is to hire the right people and let go of the right people.
Most of us, is looking forward to become the front line person of the organization, making decisions on a daily basis about what is important, what will get done and how it will be done. Every decision collectively determines the usual long term or long-term superiority of the organization. At the wheel of the organization that expresses long term superiority lies leadership that combines vision and dedication with humility and selflessness. The great leaders are those who look for success for their organization, not for themselves. Collins’ leaders are concentrated on results. The great leaders are devoted to shaping the organizational culture to greatness. Collins also tells us what great leaders don’t do. They don’t start on fundamental change programs and wrenching restructuring. They construct from strength.
All good to great companies began the process of finding a path to greatness by confronting the brutal facts of their current reality. In this chapter the companies confront this brutal facts succeed and subsequently became a great companies. This not only apply for those companies who started from scratch but it also apply to great companies encountered problem that may lead to their downfall in instances that they fail or ignore these brutal facts of their reality.
As a leader of a company or even a leader of a group as it was tackle in these chapters that that confronting and handling with these brutal facts should encompasses the collaborative function of the leader. Facing and accepting the changes as we modernized, hearing and learning from subordinates through the use of different strategies such as making a debate, and face such adversity in comparison with other company.
Adapting and practicing Stockdale paradox by Admiral Stockdale who became prisoner of war during Vietnam War. It was stated in this paradox that, retain absolute faith that you can, will prevail in the end, regardless of difficulties, and at the same time confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
Conceptualizing hedgehog concept in the concept is an important for a company to become so called great company. The concept of Hedgehog was understood that the essence of profound insights is simplicity, as it simplifies a complex world into single organizing idea, a basic principle or concept that unifies and guides everything. This concept is not a goal, strategy, or intention; hence it was an understanding which is parallel to hearing and understanding the convenience of people and subordinates.
In conceptualizing this as fanatical adherence and willingness to accept opportunities out the three circles of the hedgehog concept which consist of the following: 1. what you are deeply passionate about 2. What you can be the best in the world at, and 3. What drives your economic engine?. This may sustained results the single most important form of discipline.
Good-to-Great companies maintain unwavering faith that they can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of their current reality – whatever that might be.
None of the Good to Great executives put technology as one of their top 5 drivers. None of them jumped on the .com bandwagon out of panic. All of them took a cautious approach as to how technology can already help them do what they do well even better. For those companies studied, (and admittedly few were “technology” companies), the whole issue of technology was not paramount to their success or decline. Rather, it merely acted as an accelerator of the flywheel concept. He emphasizes that when companies went from good to great there was “no miracle moment”. No technological breakthrough. No special announcement. Rather, the accumulated effect of dedicated work finally blossoming on an exploding basis.
In the concluding chapter, Collins attempts to integrate the findings in his two books. What he tells us is that Built To Last is conceptually the sequel to Good To Great. It is about great companies that have sustained themselves. The principal of Good To Great, helps build great companies and the principals of Built To Last helps sustain them. He reminds us that in order to build sustaining companies we must “discover our core values and purpose beyond just making money” and combine this with the dynamic of the preserve growth/stimulate progress. In this chapter, Collins raises what I believe may be the most interesting question of all. That is “why be a great company”? His response: “1) it’s no harder given these ideas than being just a good company. It is just a shift in energy, not an additional expenditure of it. 2) doing so helps us in our search for meaningful work and 3) to have a meaningful life.”
1. Implementing change in a company is not as easy as it sounds, but it is sometimes necessary. People are at ease in doing things a certain way, and even though it may simplify things and make their jobs easier. How will you implement change to the people who are not yet ready for it? What strategies will you execute to sustain change?
2. How will you employ and motivate a passionate (and poorly-paid or unpaid) staff in your company?
3. Do you have a desire to be great? If so, why? What’s wrong with simply being good?
4. As a potential leader of a company or group, what will you do to your company or group to be able succeed?
5. As a potential leader of a company or group, how will handle the situation when problems arises and may potentiates or possibility to the downfall of your company or group?
6. What will you rather choose, being an optimist leader or charismatic leader? Why?
7. Do you agree that a company with a motto of “faster, better, cheaper” still effective considering the fact that we are in the new age technology where things are produced speedily?
8. If you are the manager of the company, what do you think are steps you can make to get the right people on the bus and the wrong ones out?
9. Collin’s discussion about the second circle of influence talks about your economic engine denominator. For some companies the focus is profit per employee. For others it is per geographic region, per brand, per local population, per ton of finished goods, or per customer visit. For you, what is your economic engine denominator? What does this mean for you?
(The guide questions will just help you to reflect and give your own point of view regarding the synthesis that we made.)
Sabangan, John Carlo
Sarmiento, ROchelette Laurence