Good to Great

Jim Collins, a former professor at Stanford Business School and founder of his own management research laboratory, author of Good to Great (HarperCollins, 2001), is quoted on ChristianityToday (emphasis mine):

"How do Good to Great companies treat their employees?

We came across a number of paradoxical findings. Clearly the notion of people came first, but not in the way you normally think about it. We learned that people are not the most critical asset. The right people are. So much so that great companies will put picking the right people ahead of picking the right strategy. Secondly, these Good to Great leaders were in service to their company, not to their people. This is a different idea from servant leadership.

So these great companies were bipolar—they were great places to work for the right people. But they were terrible places for the wrong people. Great company leaders didn't see it as their objective to make it a great place to work. There was an absence of motivational programs. That's because they had the right people: those who wanted to be part of an environment that succeeds and wins, and whose values connected with the values of the institution.

It's one of the most demeaning, barbaric things to think of human beings as a lump of inert coal that can be fired on with a ray gun called motivation. Great companies find people who are intrinsically self-motivated. If they're only motivated because someone motivated them, they're the wrong people. The key in management is not to de-motivate people who are motivated."

Comments (1)

  1. Trevor M. Hall says:

    Tonyso… the blog…wanted to point something out, however…something I run into quite a bit with our students (I’m ass’t dir. of an MA in Servant-Leadership program). Many come to the table thinking servant-leadership is all about serving employees, serving customers, etc. The reality is that it is all about SERVING THE MISSION. If a company has done the work and gotten the mission right, then serving customers, employees will be an outgrowth of that. I’ve been thinking about blogging about this..need to do so soon.

    Good to Great is a wonderful book, but I would just word it a little different; rather than serving the company, serving the mission. TMH

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