Working on a Dream




Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jim Collins: Great by Choice

Uncertainty and disruption characterize our lives.
So you and I have to ask ourselves, "What is required to perform exceptionally well in such a world?"

Leadership expert Jim Collins tackles this question in his latest book, Great by Choice.
Collins studies have lead him to introduce us to yet another catchy leadership principal called, 10Xers.  Simply put, 10Xers are those companies/individuals that consistently were 10 times more successful than their competitors during the years of uncertainty. 

The issue that Collins highlights is that it is not that 10Xers avoided chaos, it is that they survived in chaos. In other words, it is not that they experienced different circumstances than everybody else, but it is that they displayed different behaviors during the chaos
Collins does a good job of summarizing the three shared behavioral traits of the 10Xers: (1) fanatic discipline (2) empirical creativity & (3) productive paranoia. 
All of these are held together by one motivating force called, Level 5 Ambition.  
In the preceding paragraphs I will expound on these key ideas. 

As stated above, Collins found 3 traits shared by 10Xers:

1) Fanatic Discipline: 10Xers align their goals and methods toward the ultimate goal of whichever endeavour they are seeking to accomplish. 

2) Empirical Creativity: 10Xers are not one for conventional wisdom.  Rather they root their ideas and action on direct engagement with people. 

3) Productive Paranoia: 10Xers never settle ... even when things are running smoothly.  They channel their fear/worry into action by establishing contingency plans just in case things go awry. 

Level 5 Ambition
All three of the above traits are wrapped up in what Collins calls, Level 5 Ambition.  Level 5 Ambition is the passion for a cause larger than yourself, infused with the will to do whatever it takes to make good on that cause. Passion and ambition for something larger than just yourself is the main driving force for the 10Xer.

You can see this type of attitude in all great leaders, whether it be the Apostle Paul or Steve Jobs.  This is why so many of us love to follow great men and women that believe in something larger and more enduring than just themselves.  Think about it, ambition and ego to solely serve a person makes us all want to heave but when ambition and ego are used for a purpose that transcends self ... it is inspiring

--What camp are you in?
Have you found something greater than just yourself to live for?
Jesus said, "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19) rather store up your treasure in heaven."   

1 comment:

Ann Mullen said...

You have found a priceless book. And yes, following a leader who is looking beyond just himself is a good way to become That Leader. Good post. Thanks.