Written by: Emily Fritcke
Jim Collin’s bestselling management book, Good to Great, is the product of over five years of research that explores how good organizations can be transformed into great ones that yield impressive, sustained results. By exploring the disparities between good and great companies, Collins highlights the unique qualities shared by enterprises that excel, which their less successful counterparts do not possess.
The premise of the book is that “Good is the enemy of great,” because too often companies settle for success instead of excellence. The goal of the book is to identify the unique qualities of great companies in order to reinforce the basic values and practices that are distinctive of these organizations and their leaders. Although Collin’s study focused specifically on the traits of large, well-known corporations, the lessons regarding leadership, team-building, and values are an exceptional guide for all leaders, whether a Fortune 500 CEO or an aspiring entrepreneur.
What made Collin’s book stand out was his ability to draw a correlation between producing great work and having a great life. At the beginning of the book he stated, “That good is the enemy of great is not just a business problem. It is a human problem.” Therefore, he reinforces how his findings can be applied to whatever undertaking an individual is engaged in and can be used to subvert the mediocrity in his or her life.
His final message asserted, “For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.” Realizing that anyone can change the trajectory of their life by being selective when choosing the right people to surround themselves with, focusing attention on the fundamentals of their goals, and integrating elements of discipline that support those objectives may ultimately result in the creation of personal greatness. This impactful message emphasized how important it is not to settle for mediocrity in work, relationships, or life. Among all the lessons and teachings imparted in Good to Great, this, by far, is the one that will remain.