Jim Collins On Making Decisions
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, one of the fun parts of my job as producer of the EntreLeadership Podcast is to listen to some of the greatest business leaders and minds of our generation and get their first-hand knowledge of what it takes to succeed.
Chris asked if I would share my take on one of our recent interviews. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.
We recently talked with Jim Collins, probably the leading analytical business mind of our time. The topic of discussion was decision making. His books, Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall and Great By Choice have been on the New York Time’s best-seller list for years. His unique take on leading is second to none. And his perspective on what causes a leader to fail turned him into one of today’s most sought-after speakers. In short: when Jim Collins talks, people listen. And I was no different. Check out my notes on our interview below.
- We asked Jim why, in his opinion, are decisions so important and why do so many of us have a hard time making them? Jim said, “Companies or individuals aren’t great because of one decision but rather many good decisions over time.” That kind of pressure can get to people it seems.
- Jim said we have to gauge decisions based on their importance. He asked, “What is the more-important decision? Who you marry or where you live?” If you struggle with answering this one, go get the podcast now. For me, it’s the person I marry, live with and who has significant influence on who I am every day. It’s a decision that should not be taken lightly.
- When it comes to making the right decisions as a leader, often Jim says it comes down to “trusting the right people.” How can you get to the point where you’re surrounded by good people? Collins laid it out like this:
- Share your core values with the team.
- Do not tightly manage them.
- Remind them they don’t have a job, they have responsibilities.
- Make sure they do what they say they’ll do.
- You must be passionate.
- We also asked Jim about his belief that great decisions and great people begin with the simple statement, “I don’t know.” This seems like a paradox, but he said that humility is what builds great companies. By saying, “together let’s discover the answers,” it demonstrates the kind of humility a strong leader must have.
- Finally, to close, Jim provided these nuggets to digest about proper decision making:
- Arrogance that leads to success will always eventually lead to failure.
- As a leader, ask two questions for every statement you make.
- Everyone needs “quiet-tude.” It’s a place to think and reflect without email or a phone.
It would seem to me that since you made the decision to read this whole post in its entirety, you make good decisions. So why do you think so many of us struggle with making decisions?