Jim is the author of Good to Great and Built to Last, and spoke to the Catalyst crowd of 12,400 leaders on Thursday morning:
· Not all time in life is equal.
· Good is the enemy of great.
· Greatness is not a function of your circumstances; or good luck; it is a function of a choice.
· Within every organization or company that is great…you will find a culture of discipline.
· Most overnight successes are really about twenty years in the making.
· It took 7 years for Sam Walton to open his 2nd store. It took Starbucks 13 years before they had 5 stores.
· How do the great typically fall? It’s not through complacency. It is typically over-reaching that derails great organizations. Going too far, too fast.
· A great organization is more likely to die of indigestion of too many opportunities rather than starvation of not enough opportunities.
· #1 sign of over-reaching and the start of decline: When you grow beyond your ability to have the right people in the right seats on the bus.
· It is the undisciplined pursuit of more that will kill an organization.
· We need to spend more time on who and less on what. If you have the right who, they will figure out the right what.
· The people who do well in difficult, unpredictable situations are never any better at predicting the future than anyone else.
· We are in turbulent times. The years 1945-2000 were an anomaly. The convergence of stability and prosperity. It is unlikely we’ll see this again in our lifetimes.
· The greatest CEO’s from the greatest companies in history had one distinctive characteristic that separate them from other leaders. The trait is humility.
· If it is about you…you will not build something great. And only you know if you are all about you.
· If you make your church dependent on your powerful personality…you are being irresponsible.
· It may take 30 years to build a reputation. It only takes 30 seconds to destroy it.
· Every generation needs to determine their own practices to passionately adhere to the values that cross through all generations.
· Go to www.jimcollins.com and download (for free) the diagnostic tool to help your team figure out how you are doing with the good to great principles.
· Plan “white space days” – plan them months in advance, schedule nothing, turn off all electronics. Just think.
· The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve probably made a hiring mistake.
· If there is anyone who you secretly would be happy if they resigned—you need to let them go.
· Everyone on your team should be able to articulate their role and not have a title.