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James C. Collins quotes (showing 1-30 of 206)

“When [what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine] come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“Creativity dies in an indisciplined environment.”
James C. Collins
“Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions.”
James C. Collins, How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In
“A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“By definition, it is not possible to everyone to be above the average.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“Letting the wrong people hang around is unfair to all the right people, as they inevitably find themselves compensating for the inadequacies of the wrong people. Worse, it can drive away the best people. Strong performers are intrinsically motivated by performance, and when they see their efforts impeded by carrying extra weight, they eventually become frustrated.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“I don't know where we should take this company, but I do know that if I start with the right people, ask them the right questions, and engage them in vigorous debate, we will find a way to make this company great.”
James C. Collins
“A culture of discipline is not a principle of business, it is a principle of greatness.”
James C. Collins
“It occurs to me,Jim,that you spend too much time trying to be interesting. Why don't you invest more time being interested?"

Collin's advice from John Gardner that he took to heart.”
James C. Collins
“Faith in the endgame helps you live through the months or years of buildup.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“The good-to-great leaders never wanted to become larger-than-life heroes. They never aspired to be put on a pedestal or become unreachable icons. They were seemingly ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“What separates people is not the presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life.”
James C. Collins
“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“Consider the idea that charisma can be as much a liability as an asset. Your strength of personality can sow the seeds of problems, when people filter the brutal facts from you.”
James C. Collins
“Mediocrity results first and foremost from management failure, not technological failure.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
James C. Collins, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
“Indeed, the real question is not, “Why greatness?” but “What work makes you feel compelled to try to create greatness?” If you have to ask the question, “Why should we try to make it great? Isn’t success enough?” then you’re probably engaged in the wrong line of work.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“If we only have great companies, we will merely have a prosperous society, not a great one. Economic growth and power are the means, not the definition, of a great nation.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great
“Visionary companies are so clear about what they stand for and what they’re trying to achieve that they simply don’t have room for those unwilling or unable to fit their exacting standards.”
James C. Collins, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
“Visionary companies make some of their best moves by experimentation, trial and error, opportunism, and—quite literally—accident. What looks in retrospect like brilliant foresight and preplanning was often the result of “Let’s just try a lot of stuff and keep what works.”
James C. Collins, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
“The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“while you can buy your way to growth, you absolutely cannot buy your way to greatness.”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment Would you capture it? Or just let it slip?” —Marshall Bruce Mathers III, “Lose Yourself”1”
James C. Collins, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All
“Freedom is only part of the story and half the truth.... That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplanted by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast. —VIKTOR E. FRANKL, Man’s Search for Meaning”
James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
“Visionary companies pursue a cluster of objectives, of which making money is only one—and not necessarily the primary one.”
James C. Collins, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

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