Good To Great by Jim Collins

good to great image.png

I first read Good To Great by Jim Collins in the fall of 2006 and I’ve returned to it many times. Without reservation, it’s the best business book I’ve ever read.

Collins set out to discover the characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great and sustain the results for at least 15 years.


The Flywheel
There is no miracle moment, silver bullet or one killer innovation. Long term results start slow, build up momentum then achieve breakthrough. “Like pushing on a giant, heavy flywheel, it takes a lot of effort to get the thing moving at all, but with persistent pushing in a consistent direction over a long period of time, the flywheel builds momentum, eventually hitting a point of breakthrough” (page 186).

The Hedgehog Concept
Great companies have a deep understanding of the intersection of 1. What you are deeply passionate about 2. What you can be the best in the world at and 3. What drives your economic engine.

First Who, Then What
Get the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off) and then figure out where to drive it.


Timeless. Sound advice applicable to all business types. Concepts easily translate to personal pursuits.

Steven Pressfield

I can’t think of a more appropriate place to start this What I’m Learning series than with Steven Pressfield. If I could magically make a stranger part of my family I would choose Steven Pressfield and I’d be sure I was seated next to him at every family gathering.

His books The War of Art and Turning Pro have had a huge influence on my work. It wouldn’t be hyperbole to call it life changing. I tote Turning Pro around like it’s life’s playbook. Because…it is. When I’m distracted, ready to give up, etc. I whip that baby open to any random page and I’m quickly reminded: the muse rewards those who do the work.

My Top Takeaways

  • Resistance is real.

  • Resistance is your compass to True North. The higher the resistance, the closer you are to the work of your soul.

  • The muse rewards those who do the work.

  • Concentration & depth = pro. Shallow & unfocused = amateur

Final Thoughts

Simple. Profound. Life changing.