Friday, August 20, 2010

Level 5 Leadership

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 2 - Level 5 Leadership.

…they were self-effacing individuals who displayed the fierce resolve to do whatever needed to be done to make the company great.

…but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves. (21)

…fully developed Level 5 leaders embody all five layers of the pyramid. (chart on page 20, 21)

…a dedication to making anything he touched the best it could possibly be – not just because of what he would get, but because he simply couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. (25)

…ambition first and foremost for the company and concern for its success rather than for one’s own riches and personal renown. (25-26)

…But he was not a Level 5 leader, and that is one key reason why Rubbermaid went from good to great for a brief shining moment, and then just as quickly, went from great to irrelevant. (27)

They were seemingly ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results. (28)

It is equally about ferocious resolve, an almost stoic determination to do whatever needs to be done to make the company great.

Level 5 leaders are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce results. (30)

The evidence does not support the idea that you need an outside leader to come in and shake up the place to go from good to great. (31)

Level 5 leaders look out the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck). At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly. (35)

…those who have the potential to evolve to Level 5; the capability resides within them, perhaps buried or ignored…they begin to develop.

The problem is not, in my estimation, a death of potential Level 5 leaders. They exist all around us, if we just know what to look for. (37)

This chapter is about what Level 5s are; the rest of the book describes what they do. (38)

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