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  • What makes some companies go from good to great?

  • Jim Collins and his research team examined

  • 30 years of data from over a thousand companies

  • and identified factors that contributed to outsized market performance,

  • including one they termed level-five leadership.

  • Leadership ability ranges from highly capable individuals

  • at level one to contributing team members,

  • competent managers, effective leaders, and finally,

  • the fifth and final level, effective executives.

  • Being a full-fledged level-five leader

  • requires the capabilities of all the lower levels,

  • such as the level-four ability to both improve company performance

  • and paint a clear and compelling vision.

  • But level-five leaders have something special

  • that separates them from the rest, namely

  • the rare combination of fierce resolve and personal humility.

  • When faced with setbacks, they look in the mirror,

  • blaming themselves for underperformance, never

  • external factors or bad luck.

  • When their companies succeed, however, the mirror

  • turns into a window and they give credit to others.

  • The funny thing is this does not reflect reality.

  • According to the research, the level-five leaders

  • were responsible for their company's success,

  • but they would never admit it.

  • In fact, although they're very ambitious,

  • level-five leaders rarely talk about themselves.

  • Instead, they channel their ambition

  • into something bigger than personal achievement.

  • To grasp this concept, consider US president Abraham Lincoln,

  • a reserved, even shy leader who nonetheless held the country

  • together during the Civil War.

  • Despite monumental losses on both sides,

  • his resolute determination to unify the country

  • resulted in the reunited nation becoming a world power.

  • It might be a stretch to compare a great CEO

  • to a president like Lincoln, but the level-five leaders

  • in the study displayed the same kind of duality,

  • modest yet willful, quiet yet fierce.

  • If you're thinking that sounds like a rare combination

  • of traits, you're right.

  • Ironically, the drive that often propels people

  • into level-four leadership stands

  • at odds with the humility required to rise to level five,

  • and too many companies reward extroverted style

  • over substance.

  • To help your company go from good to great,

  • seek out the fierce but humble leaders

  • you may have overlooked.

What makes some companies go from good to great?

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The Explainer: What It Takes to Be a Great Leader

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    jbsatvtac1 posted on 2019/08/16
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