Beyond Themselves

Just read Jim Collins’ latest book, Great By Choice, in which he compares companies that thrived during challenging times with those who didn’t.  Loved the book, and I like to share what I learn. So here’s one of the key concepts…

This is kind of wild. In his research, Collins discovered that the leaders of companies who succeeded in situations where others did not were incredibly ambitious “but their ambition is first and foremost for the cause, for the company, for the work, not themselves.” He writes about their “sheer ferocity of will” – which probably wouldn’t surprise anyone. But their will was not for their own success. Collins writes that these leaders “can be bland or colorful, uncharismatic or magnetic, understated or flamboyant, normal to the point of dull, or just flat-out weird – none of this really matters, as long as they’re passionately driven for a cause beyond themselves.” These are people who “defined themselves by impact and contribution and purpose.”

Pretty cool. You’d expect for this to be a “success principle” in a Christian book about church leaders, but not in a secular book about business leaders, but there it is. Maybe God’s truth is truth everywhere. Who knew?