Good to Great – Can any company make the leap?

“Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins, recommended to every business person, entrepreneur and non-profit, . I read it while I was consulting with a “good company.” One of their partners said to me “It bothers me that we don’t do anything great.” I could see it in the passion in his eyes that he could see the potential in his company but for some reason couldn’t make it there. The answer was so obvious to him once I passed along this book to him. I believed in this company, one of the partners DID in fact have the potential to be a “great” leader. However, he wasn’t “The Man” in charge. Funny enough, leadership styles is what was most discussed during my time at this company.

I watched patiently as “The Man” exuded with brilliance but also thrashed around in anger making rash judgment calls, burn bridges, make up facts and figures with each sales pitch, etc. Around the same time, I saw within The Man’s circle of friends, they were achieving some astronomically amazing feats in this world, changing history forever.

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In “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t” they discussed Level 5 leadership and the personality traits of the leaders of these “great” companies. Most of these traits this particular leader did not have. However, I wondered, could a company take that leap with the same leaders? Could the leaders be trained and learn to be Level 5 leaders? From the book, seems like these are behavioral traits that one is either born with or develops over time, but doesn’t just happen with a seminar, lecturer or even some personal coaching.

I wondered if this organization could go from good to great. Only time will tell, fortunately The Man isn’t an island. Luckily, there are brilliant advisers and colleagues to learn and draw from. Some of whom I see as Level 5 leaders already. Let’s see how open The Man will be to this, as this will change the course of our world if he is successful. Wishing The Man and his organization the best of luck as it has taught me and many many others much. The potential for greatness is definitely there.