Issue No. 188 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting reminds you about a best-selling book from 2001 and why it’s possible your team members are faking it when they pretend to know what the hedgehog concept is all about. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Collins Lingo Redux
At a CEO Dialogues roundtable recently, leaders recommended their favorite books—or recently read books. The list and variety is always intriguing. Usually, it’s the recommender, not the title, that causes me to succumb to Amazonitis. I’ve noticed that smart people remain smart by reading smart books. So I have a shelf-full of good stuff for you all summer.
But…what really got my attention that day was the recommendation from Bethany Palmer, executive director and co-founder of Envoy Financial. She had just re-read Jim Collins’ masterpiece, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t (2001). Someone permanently borrowed my original, underlined copy, so I noticed that my new copy’s header proclaims, “#1 Bestseller – 2 Million Copies Sold.” It’s still relevant.
So Bethany’s insight got me thinking: How many of your younger team members have joined your organization—but have never read Built to Last, Good to Great, or How the Mighty Fall? If you’re in the nonprofit or church arena, at the very least, have your direct reports (and boss or board chair) read the 36-page monograph, Good to Great and the Social Sectors.
Is it possible that you often throw around Collins lingo—and some team members nod knowingly, while others feign understanding? Can they finish the paragraph when you talk about a Good to Great or Built to Last concept?
--The Hedgehog Concept
--Clock Building, Not Time Telling
--Level 5 Leadership
--The Stockdale Paradox
--Greatness at the Cleveland Orchestra
--The 3 Circles: Passion, Competence and Your Economic Engine (and what is different in the social sector)
Collins says, “The moment you think of yourself as great, your slide toward mediocrity will have already begun.” Do your vision and mission statements trumpet arrogance or humility? “Greatness is not a function of circumstance,” adds Collins. “Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”
Conduct an informal Collins poll in the hallway or break room. Perhaps it’s time to heed Bethany Palmer’s wisdom to read it again and inspire others to read Collins for the first time. While you’re at it, go to Jim Collins’ website for a free download of the Good to Great Diagnostic Tool.
To order this book from Amazon, click on this title: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Collins says every organization must ask, “What are you deeply passionate about?” You can’t be passionate about everything. Is there passion alignment in our organization?
2) The first line of Collins’ book is “Good is the enemy of great.” Where is that wisdom applicable in our organization?
Level 5 Fundraising - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Donor Bucket, Chapter 11 in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to emulate King David’s humility as he challenges his nation to give generously to the temple project. (Read 1 Chronicles 29.)
Joanne and I recently received a donor letter from an organization that we support infrequently. The CEO, in a very uncharacteristic display of CEO transparency, included several failure stories along with his success stories. Wow—talk about humility!
I immediately sent a check and thanked the CEO for his courage in telling it like it is. (He responded with a personal letter.) There’s an organization (and a leader) that is moving from good to great.
For more resources from the Donor Bucket, including a link to the quick-reading, but powerful book, The Seven Deadly Sins of Christian Fundraising, by R. Scott Rodin, click on my website.
Mastering the Management Buckets Workshop
July 28 – Charlotte, N.C. (“Best of the Buckets” 1-day Workshop, hosted and sponsored by SIM USA)
Sept. 28-29 – Colorado Springs
Nov. 16-17 – Orange County, Calif.
Sept. 21 – Orange County, Calif.