Anyone who knows me well knows that Good to Great by Jim Collins is the most influential book I have read. It changed the course of an entire university, stimulated relationships with some of the people who became my best colleagues and friends, and has been part of my vocabulary and thinking since I first picked it up in June, 2002.
So you can understand why I was delighted to come across a speech Jim Collins gave to the Global Leadership Summit. (His comments were made in 2015, but I just heard them). Collins focuses on his comments around seven questions that frame his learnings from his recent time teaching leadership at West Point.
I encourage you to read Good to Great, and, if you have already done so, to listen to the seven questions that Jim poses to young leaders (young being a relative term!).
- What cause do you serve with Level 5?
- Will you settle for bring a good leader, or will you grow to be a great leader?
- How can you reframe failure as growth in pursuit of a BHAG?
- How can you succeed by helping others succeed?
- Have you found your personal Hedgehog?
- Will you build your unit — your minibus — into a Pocket of Greatness?
- How will you change the lives of others?
As Collins writes in his book: “greatness is a conscious choice.” Choose great over good today.