Book Review: How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins

Recently finished reading this book. Absolutely loved it. In fact I was happy just with Appendix 5, I think there is enough in there to keep us discussing for a long time.

The beauty of a Jim Collins book. It’s thought provoking. It’s easy to read. There is a journey to it. The comparison between how some companies fall while others rescue themselves – that insight is priceless. You can put yourself, your organisation, your team, the Church for me as a Pastor, in to the scenario and determine how you are doing.

The 5 stages of decline become clearer as you read the evidence. Very obvious at times, it makes you wonder how the leaders in the companies didn’t notice. I guess when you are in it you don’t always see it.

Some thoughts from the various stages that show leadership succcess:
‘Leaders lose the inquisitiveness and learning orientation that mark those truly great individuals who, no matter how successful they become, maintain a learning curve as steep as when they first began their careers’. [That’s a kick of a reminder]

‘The greatest leaders do seek growth – growth in performance, growth in distinctive impact, growth in creativity, growth in people – but they do not succumb to growth that undermines long-term value’.

‘They do not confuse growth with excellence’.

‘Big does not equal great, and great does not equal big’.

‘Taking action inconsistent with your core values is undisciplined’.

‘To compromise your values or lose-sight of your core purpose in pursuit of growth and expansion is undisciplined’.

‘When bureaucratic rules erode an ethic of freedom and responsibility within a framework of core values and demanding standards, you’ve become infected with the disease of mediocrity’.

‘The signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change. The signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency’. [Ouch]

‘If you want to reverse decline, be rigorous about what not to do’. That’s when you need to…‘Breathe. Calm yourself. Think. Focus. Aim. Take one shot at a time’.

‘The right leaders feel a sense of urgency in good times and bad, whether facing threat or opportunity, no matter what. They’re obsessed, afflicted with a creative compulsion and inner drive for progress’.

‘Circumstances alone do not determine outcomes’.

‘Never give in. Be willing to change tactics, but never give up your core purpose’.

‘Success is falling down, and getting up one more time, without end’.

So many great thoughts. Recommended read for leaders. Get it here.

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