Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Confront the Brutal Facts, Yet Never Lose Faith

I recently finished reading Good to Great by Jim Collins. It was one of those "recommended" books in grad school that I never got around to reading until now. Actually, it was one of those that I started, got about 30 pages into, and put away. Anyways, I finally got around to reading it. Here are my favorite quotes from Chapter 4 - Confront the Brutal Facts, Yet Never Lose Faith.

…the good-to-great companies continually refined the path to greatness with the brutal facts of reality. (71)
The moment a leader allows himself to become the primary reality people worry about, rather than reality being the primary reality, you have a recipe for mediocrity, or worse. This is one of the key reasons why less charismatic leaders often produce better long-term results than their more charismatic counterparts. (72)

…expending energy trying to motivate people is largely a waste of time.

The real question becomes, How do you manage in such a way as not de-motivate people? (74)

…they used questions for one and only one reason: to gain understanding. (75)

…all the good-to-great companies had a penchant for intense dialogue. The process was more like a heated scientific debate, with people engaged in a search for the best answers. (77)

In confronting the brutal facts, the good-to-great companies left themselves stronger and more resilient, not weaker and more dispirited. We will never give up. We will never capitulate. It might take a long time, but we will find a way to prevail. (81)

…a powerful psychological duality. On the one hand, they stoically accepted the brutal facts of reality. On the other hand, they maintained an unwavering faith in the endgame, and a commitment to prevail as a great company despite the brutal facts. (83)

You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. (85)

…they all maintained unwavering faith that they would not just survive, but prevail as a great company.

The good-to-great leaders were able to strip away so much noise and clutter and just focus on the few things that would have the greatest impact. (87)

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