“It’s Collins…, it’s Bossidy, it’s Welch…it’s not rigid, it’s discipline and maturity…
Thank you to everyone who joined us today on our Online Town Hall. Sometimes I find it’s the simplest agendas that are the best. Hopefully, you found it to be a good use of time just answering basic questions that each of you have about our company.
I’ve written before about one of my favorite authors, Jim Collins. I actually met Dr. Collins and spent the day escorting him in August 1998 when he was just beginning his ascent as one of the top business authors of all-time. A great author and a neat gentleman.
I wanted share some of my favorite quotes from his books. Don’t get too worried. It might seem like a lot, but it’s really a very short read. I’d ask everyone to hang in there and really think about what Dr. Collins is trying to say in each bullet. I think you’ll find it very Meaningful. He’s a brilliant man!
Top Executive Skills:
- Ability to pick the right people. Executives should spend 50% of their time on this.
- Ability to put people in the right seat.
- Ability to hold on to good people.
The X-factor (Level-5 Leaders) of Great Leadership – Humility combined with above immense will.
- “Charisma is as much a liability as an asset.”
- Success is due to a hierarchy (layering) of skills:
- Ability to ask others what they think
- Ability to be interested vs. be interesting
- Ability to confront the brutally honest truth…to hold up the mirror
- These leaders see the organization as bigger than them as an individual. They look at the continuation of the organization beyond them personally like a cause or a passion.
- “Humility does not mean lack of ego or confidence.”
20-mile March Characteristics:
- Fanatic Discipline – Power of consecutive performance
- “No one could possibly deal with such adverse conditions” vs. “It’s been an unpleasant day, but we have advanced towards our goal”
- “Equally important as the discipline to advance is having the discipline to hold back…not to advance too far or too fast.”
- “Mistakes you learn from are the ones that you survive.”
- “Fanatic Discipline means you manage to the Quarter………..Century!”
- Characteristics in common with 20-mile marchers?
- Have a lower boundary
- Have an upper boundary
- They’ve tailored their march to their situation
- Focus on what they can control
- Use the Goldilocks Rules for a timeframe…not too far, not too short
- Focus is consistent achievement, year in and year out.
- “Signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency”
- Empirical Creativity – Observed experience rather than theoretical.
- “Creativity is natural and abundant; discipline is not. But, discipline alone is not enough. The genius is having an ability to scale innovation which means not letting fanatic discipline stifle creativity.”
- Ability to take a series of calculated Risks (Bullets)
- Big Shots (Cannonballs)
- Great companies have an ability to balance between Discipline and Creativity.
- Productive Paranoia
- “An ability to ask Why Questions.”
- “What you do before the storm is what counts. This means having the discipline to make decisions before this storm.”
- “Only those who are prepared if it could happen will survive when it happens, because it will happen.”
- “Productive Paranoia is an ability to make productive decisions that allow you to absorb shot after shot.”
- “Must have the ability to zoom in and zoom out….this is being able to see what right in front of your face, but also see the big picture of what’s happening around you.”
- “People who are good at this believe in the Stockdale Paradox which is – an ability to see the brutal facts as they are, but also having an unwavering belief that they will prevail.”
- Role of Luck in Business
- 1.“10x’ers do not get more or less luckier than average companies, but they do more with their luck…both good and bad.”
- 2.“10x’ers are especially good during bad times and have amazing ROI with bad luck.”
- 3.“10x’ers also recognize the importance of “Who” luck.”
- A great mentor
- A great, supportive spouse
- A great executive hire
- A great business associate who impacted you or your organization.
- 4.Know the difference between Clock builders vs. Time tellers…one is perpetual!
- What Discipline is Not
- 3.Not about regular measurement
- 4.“Not about hierarchical obedience – truly disciplined leaders will actually be looked at as non-conformist. They are committed to consistency of meeting responsibilities which will require and stimulate change.”
A final comment from me about Discipline…actually I stole it this from one of my subordinates a few years ago who said “It’s Collins…, it’s Bossidy, it’s Welch…it’s not rigid, it’s discipline and maturity ..it actually gives you less to have to figure out and more flexibility to adapt and create around culture, engagement, development, business development, etc., the fun stuff!” Done correctly, being disciplined forces creativity and innovative, not rigidity.
While there are some who hit the lottery or who just had amazingly good timing with a business idea, most successful companies, leaders and people had to earn their success the hard way…one day at a time. Many times, their days were filled with heartache, frustration and failure, but they ultimately prevailed. Live by the recommendations above and your chances for success will be significantly higher.
Have a great week!
Banking on more than the “Pet Rock”!