I read Good to Great by Jim Collins

Camilo Nova

Camilo Nova


2 min read.

I read a lot, and someone told me to share more about what I learned. I had a +6 hours flight to Sao Paulo where I planned to focus and read a book I had on my list for a long time: Good to Great, by Jim Collins.

Here I'm going to share five quotes from the book and what I think about them.

The good-to-great leaders never wanted to become larger-than-life heroes. They never aspired to be put on a pedestal or become unreachable icons. They were seemingly ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results.

Being part of a high-performing team is about stopping thinking about yourself first. You have to drop the ego to be part of the team. We tend to forget about that. The Western Culture pushes this concept of individuals, moving us away from the idea of communities, where most of the meaningful work takes place. Drop your ego and think of your team first, be a real team player, not a rockstar who needs admiration.

The right people don’t need to be tightly managed or fired up; they will be self-motivated by the inner drive to produce the best results and to be part of creating something great.

When someone comes complaining about not being motivated, save the effort and let this person go right away. You can't spend your time encouraging people; instead, use your time to build for the team. Right people are self-motivated. Stop making the mistake of trying to please everyone because no one can.

The right people will do the right things and deliver the best results they’re capable of, regardless of the incentive system.

You see the passion in your team where you only talk about what you are building. If you are constantly talking about pay, compensation, benefits, and so on, you are pretty much with the wrong team. I'm not saying people work for free, but if the main incentive is money, you can't expect to build meaningful work around those folks.

Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.

Usually, you go into panic mode when problems happen, and you rush to move your best people to work on those problems. They will be very busy working on problems and not building for the future. Do not get confused by the day-to-day emergencies. Let your best people focus and work on the most significant opportunities.

Avoid bureaucracy and hierarchy and instead create a culture of discipline.

All of us have tried to add discipline by creating processes and bureaucracy, which is a mistake. When the right people are working in your team, you don't have to add stuff to make sure people do their work. The right people will do their work no matter what. Adding more steps to do something will only create a slow environment to make things happen.

It is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.

I added an extra item because you might think this is all about work, but it is not. It is about life too. So make sure it is worth your time, and be around people who share the same passions. Enjoy being around people you work with, and you will have a great life.

-- Read here all my quotes from the book

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