Good to Great by Jim Collins

In my journey through leadership growth, this is one of the first books I picked up from the shelves. Maybe it was the great red cover or maybe it was the simple title that led me to pick up the book and invest in the purchase. Whatever it was, what I can tell you is that, although I had very little exposure to leadership authors at that moment in time, this book just seemed to look like a good choice and it delivered. That good choice actually led to reading one of the books in my library that I would recommend to every leader. No matter the size of your organization or the industry or its worth, I can assure you this book is a must read.

There are so many areas of this book that I have either highlighted or placed a sticky note on or annotated with red ink (you see I’m totally into color coding) that it is difficult for me to pick out just one or two. The author of this book did a great job of really focusing on highlighting how you can have an organization, that although you might think is doing good, can still grow, develop, and lead to becoming a great organization. It’s sort of like the Raving Fan book from Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, where the authors talk about not only having clients or customers but having raving fans, this book really talks about and dives into how you, as a leader or member of an organization, can take steps to make it a greater and better organization. I really enjoyed how the author made it relatable to all organizations and made simple recommendations that we might not have thought about and highlighted them as a tool in the leadership toolbox.

Maybe I enjoyed it so much because the information provided in the book was not just based on opinions or interviews made to other leaders, it was actually backed with data and I am a data junkie. For five years, the author and his team of researchers studied companies that had sustained significant financial growth throughout a fifteen-year period. Throughout the research they looked at multiple data points including (but not limited to) types of leadership, technology and industry. After studying tons of information, they came to the realization that “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice” (Collins, 2001). Imagine that, you can actually make greatness happen if you choose to, what an innovative thought (sarcastic tone). Now obviously this is not something that will happen overnight, there is time that needs to be invested to turn your organization from a good one to a great one, but, if you consciously choose to make your organization great you can definitely make it happen and this book is the one of the best ways to guide you in the right direction. This is why, in my opinion, this book is a must read for all leaders that not only want a good organization but are looking to make it great. So my tip is to invest the $15.00 or so and see the results.

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