Which ‘good to great’ leadership skills can I skip?

About the Author: Ashley Thomson
Ashley Thomson

As a business coach I recommend that my clients read ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins. Collins is synonymous with the term “high-performance organisation”. He has spent the past 20 years trying to understand how and why some companies are able to sustain unparalleled performance.

Collins argues that the key ingredient that allows a company to become great is having a leader whose genuine personal humility blends with intense professional will. These leaders have humility, and they don’t seek success for their own glory; rather, success is necessary so that the team and organisation can thrive. They share credit for success, and they’re the first to accept blame for mistakes. They are often shy, but fearless when it comes to making decisions, especially ones that others consider risky.

These skills and characteristics may not be natural for every leader but Collins suggests they can be learned as follows:

  • Develop humility
  • Ask for help
  • Take responsibility
  • Develop discipline
  • Find the right people
  • Lead with passion

Some of these attributes may be outside a leader’s natural style or inclination, so which ones can be skipped? All of them. Seriously, it’s your choice. If you only want a good business, don’t do ANY of these.

I have seen first-hand the difference it makes to my coaching clients’ business when they decide to incorporate these elements into their own leadership. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it.