Good to Great

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Good to Great by Jim Collins

There are so many good books out there. This was another one that I was fortunate enough to read. Mr. Collins involved himself in a 5-year research project that totaled over 15,000 man-hours for his research team. He wanted to find out what made a company great, as compared to just good. The book explored his findings.

His first six words in the book summed it up in a nutshell: "Good is the enemy of great." By good, Mr. Collins meant mediocre, where a company achieves just enough to get by. By great, he identified eleven companies that were able to sustain great results for at least fifteen consecutive years. These eleven great companies had average cumulative stock returns at 6.9 times the general market for those fifteen years. He cited staggering data where $1 invested in a good-to-great fund from 1965 to January 1, 2000 would have multiplied 471 times, whereas the general market increased only 56 times.

My favorite section was on the leadership chapter. Mr. Collins went into detail about what type of leadership qualities would help companies to become great — not just flashes in the pan, but enduring companies with a great history even after the CEO left. I could not help but to take numerous notes. I felt I could apply those same principles not just to organizations or groups that I am involved with in here, like Peer Health and AVP, but to my own personal life. How can I make myself great, to leave a legacy behind for my loved ones to be proud of? This book provided me with many great concepts to apply.

I will try to use what I learned to help our Peer Health Advocate newsletter get off the ground, and hope to make an eventual lasting impression for the community that I inevitable will leave behind when I am granted acceptance back into society. So many concepts to practice, and I am fortunate to have so much opportunity around me.

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