Archives For Jim Collins

Caution Versus Fear

January 14, 2015

We all know leaders must take risks. Somewhere, it must be included in the definition of a leader.

Leaders take people places they did not think they could go. Together we are able to accomplish more than we would on our own.

Recently, I heard pastor and author, Mark Batterson, express this sentiment by saying, “In leadership, you are only as good as your last risk.”

Some leaders are natural risk takers. While still agreeing with this quote, I am not a personality which loves the unknown. I know I am not alone as a leader who is somewhat risk-adverse. There are many leaders who naturally lean to caution over risk. In many leadership circles, this could be perceived as a bad character trait.

The Bible describes a healthy caution in many ways.

Words like discretion, prudence, and temperance promote this. Admonitions to “Give heed”, “Pay Attention”, and “Stay Alert” promote godly caution.

Jim Collins, in his bestselling book Good to Great, is famous for saying “get the right people on the bus.”

This is so true. Having good people has been one of the biggest reasons for our success in South Africa. But at times, we have to think differently in order to make this a reality. Here are three elements to help you build the right team:

1. Look for the Mold Breakers
A tendency when building a team is to think everyone should be like you. This was not a good strategy when choosing a partner for marriage, nor is it in building a team.

Good teams comprise of many talents, cultures(ethnic and denominationally), and include diversity in their composition(male/female) and personality (introvert /extrovert).

True unity does not come from conformity, but through diversity. Scripture articulates this with all the “one body, many members” illustrations (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12)

Which one of these statements describes your life? Is it a:

– Marathon or a sprint?
– Drive through coffee or waiting for it to brew?
– Sit down restaurant or fast food?
– An Atm or walking in and seeing the bank teller?

Perhaps the harder question to answer would be, is it :

One good, record-setting season or a lengthy, consistent, high performing, championship career?

I’ve been reading Jim Collins’s book, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All. He identifies successful companies as ones that take the “20 mile journey.” They don’t merely look for the quick fix, or even seek to capitalize on all a moment may hold. Instead, they seek steady, incremental growth over the long-term. This is common among the best companies.