Thursday, July 11, 2013

Going from good to great: lessons from business

by Jim Collins
Recently, I read the “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. Jim Collins is a former faculty member at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, who conducted the “Good to Great” study. In his study, he identified the companies that progressed from good to great and sustained those results for 15 years. He then compared these companies with a control group of companies which did not make the transition or were unable to sustain the great results for so long. Many of the findings of this study apply and/or may be useful in sports (team building, sports science and medical departments building etc.). For those who are interested in such issues, I have summarized the findings below:
Leadership style: These are the characteristics of the leaders (CEO) of the companies that made the leap from good to great:
  • They are results oriented while at the same time they are modest and shy.
  • They are determined to do whatever neede to achive the best results. On the other hand they are quit, calm, and friendly with the colleagues.
  • They set high goals and work hard and smart to achieve them. Ambitions are for the company not for themselves.
  • They look "in the mirror not out of the window". When something goes wrong they look in the mirror, when things go well they give credit to the team members.
  • They have the ability to "get the right people on the bus, the right peple in the right place and the wrong people off the bus".  Importantly, they get self-disciplines people on the bus. If you lead such a team, you spend little time trying to motivate people and hence focus on more important issues.
  • Leaders face the brutal facts, don’t cover them and never lose faith that they will succeed in the end.
  • They carefully plan their actions and insire others to do the same by asking simple questions:
                      -What is my passion? Let’s go for it!
                      -How can I make the difference?
  • Leaders preserve their personal and team's core values while they are ready to modify strategies to adapt to a changing environment.

Source: Jim Collins. Good to Great. HarperCollins Publishers Inc, New York, 2001

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