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How the Mighty Fall


I don’t regularly read business management books. I do enjoy a few business authors and follow their work. One of those authors is Jim Collins. Collins, who penned Built to Last and Good to Great, has recently published a new work that I’ve recently completed titled How the Mighty Fall. In Appendix 5 of How the Mighty Fall, Collins lists six characteristics of the “Right People in Key Seats.” I wanted to pass those along today because I think he’s spot on. I think these characteristics are applicable for any organization.

1. The right people fit with the company’s core values.
According to Collins, it’s virutally impossible to get people to adopt a set of core values that they do not already possess. When someone in leadership does not possess the basic core values of an organization on the front end, they then work as a virus within the organization.

2. The right people don’t need to be tightly managed.
Key positions within an organization need to be filled with people who possess initiative, self-motivation and self-discipline.

3. The right people understand that they do not have “jobs”; they have “responsibilities.”
They are able to see beyond “to do lists” and embrace the bigger picture as to why they are members of the team. At the end of the day, they know what the main thing is, and they are able to keep the main thing the main thing.

4. The right people fulfill their commitments.
They do what they say what they will do, and use discretion in making their commitments so as to not overpromise what they may not be able to deliver.

5. The right people are passionate about the company and its work.
There is a sense of enthusiasm and energy that surrounds right people and their work. They believe in what they are doing and give themselves to it.

6. The right people use “window” and “mirror” maturity.
When things are going right, the right person points out the window and gives credit to people and factors other than themselves. They are reluctant to take credit personally. At the same time, when things are going poorly, they don’t blame circumstances or others. They look in the mirror and point the finger and accept responsibility.

Categories : Books, Leadership

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