Good to Great

Jim Collins

Business book is usually not a piece of sweet cake for a social science student--I was struggling reading Zero to One which I would say more on the business side. Good to Great is an everybody-friendly book in which economic concepts are smoothened and phrased as social phenomena, thus digestible. The book is not a breaking-through discovery since it ultimately has not invented any magical formulas which of course very unlikely to happen in any books. Still, what I mean it brings no revolutionary inventions like Newton’s discovery of gravity. However, the book, in my opinion, is worth reading because of its in-depth 5-year research and critical concept of how to turn a company great & sustainable.

While I believe many young entrepreneurs, CEOs, and leaders are thriving to be GOOD first, the book contains priceless advice for building up strong & endure foundation from the beginning. Though it has much economic analysis and 5-step from good to great. Here are three points I learn from the book.

First, the book discusses the economic giants of the 1950s, 1980s and till now such as Gillette (razor company and personal uses), Abbott (pharmaceutical firm)--which I used to use and hear about every day, 11 companies in total which exemplified outstanding changes. While many business books focus on tech corps of the early 20 century, I found long-lasting companies stay there: silent but dominating. It was a valuable learning experience for me.

Second, what Collins described as “finding the right people on the bus and the right seats while having the wrong people get off the bus.” I found the simple “insight of having the wrong people get off the bus” powerful since just a wrong assigned person can cause negative influences and an unfair working environment for the right people. So true, the more I reflected on my group work experience.

Third, the concept of Level 5 leader is worth learning. While many 21-century leaders are outspoken and popular, leaders we learn in the book were self-effacing and humble, yet holding a strong drive and will for perfection. I have no means to appreciate the differences but it is such a motivational push for modern young leaders so strive regardless of who they are.

Fall 2019

July 20, 2019, 3:00:00 PM




Good to Great