Notes from Jim Collins at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast

May 27, 2010

When Jim Collins spoke at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast two weeks ago I took four pages of notes.  I really enjoy that his content is deeply rooted in research and facts.  He shares content that is practical, realistic and action oriented.

Here’s part I of some notes I took from his talk:

All good companies have leaders.  But the great companies have a different kind of leader.

In Jim’s research of hundreds of companies they found that all good companies had good leaders.  But the truly great companies who’ve stood the test of time and who’ve made the greatest impact had a different type of leader.

Their leader possessed a quality not apparent in the good companies.  It was one distinct quality: humility. 

Great leaders at great companies possessed a quality of humility that was not found among the good company leaders. 

It seems odd that humility would to have made the difference, but it was.  So remember no matter what you do or accomplish, be humble!

Most overnight successes were about 20 years in the making.

After 13 years Starbucks only had 5 stores.  Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart took years to get his second store open.  How crazy is that! 
Probably the two most recognizable brands in the world took years and years to get up and running.

Think about this as you’re trying to get something up and running as a leader.  I often feel discouraged with some of the
leadership classes and seminars that I do that seem to take forever to get up and running.

Embrace the genius of “and”.

This is something to play with. Instead of always saying the word “but” or “although” try using “and.”

And is a great encouraging word, while “but” and “although” are discouraging words.  They both stop a conversation and discourage
further progress.  But “And” encourages things to keep moving forward and to keep going. 

Anytime you use the word “but” it discounts and discredits whatever was just previously said.  If someone says, “Christopher, you’re a great leader, but you fail to confront people when they’re wrong.”  Yes, that person started to give me a compliment, but he just took the compliment away when he said, “but.”

The word “and” is best used when generating ideas on new things and trying to solve problems. 

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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