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Interview with Jim Collins on Level 5 Leadership

January 2008

Leading from good to great does not mean coming up with the answers and then motivating everyone to follow your messianic vision. It means having the humility to grasp the fact that you do not yet understand enough to have the answers and then to ask the questions that will lead to the best possible insights. The good-to-great companies in our research had a penchant for intense dialogue.
Jim Collins
Effective executive Interview with Jim Collins on Level 5 Leadership

Jim Collins is a student and teacher of enduring great companies how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great companies. Having invested over a decade of research into the topic, Jim has authored or coauthored four books, including the classic BUILT TO LAST, a fixture on the Business Week best seller list for more than six years, and has been translated into 29 languages. His work has been featured in Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company.

Jim's most recent book, GOOD TO GREAT: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don't attained long-running positions on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week best seller lists, has sold 3 million hardcover copies since publication and has been translated into 35 languages, including such languages as Latvian, Mongolian and Vietnamese.

Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management

laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he now conducts research and teaches executives from the corporate and social sectors. Jim holds degrees in Business Administration and Mathematical Sciences from Stanford University, and honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado and the Peter F Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University

He has worked with executives and CEOs at over a hundred corporations. He has also worked with social sector organizations, such as Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Leadership Network of Churches, the American Association of K-12 School Superintendents, and the United States Marine Corps. In 2005, he published a monograph: Good to Great and the Social Sectors.

He can also be reached at

Useful for Understanding of:

  • Building a great company
  • First who
  • BHAGs
  • Level 5 Leaders
  • Good to Great and the Social Sectors.
Originally Published in Effective Executive, IUP
Effective Executive Reference No. 03M-2008-01-05-06
IBSCDC Reference No. INT0004
Year and Month of Publication January 2008
Keywords Jim Collins, Building a great company, "First who", BHAGs, Level 5 Leaders, 'Good to Great and the Social Sectors'

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