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21 September 2015

Learning From The Innovators: Jim Collins

Jim Collins is a professor at Stanford university and has written numerous books on management theories and corporate culture.

His insights into the world of business have valuable implications for those of us trying to start our own operations.


Great vision, without great people, is irrelevant

Collins’ ideas were all about people and teams. Finding the right person for the right job is the most important business decision you will make. If you’re starting your own business, this person may be you (and only you) for quite a while. As you grow, think carefully about who you want to be on your team. They need to understand your vision, they need to be sold your vision, and they need to be able to get you there.


It is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work

A lot of people separate their life from their work. They think of their job and their wage as compensation for the time they spend away from the things they really want to be doing. If you can find a way to love your work, you can live a meaningful and fulfilled life. Everybody needs to work, so you might as well try to make that work meaningful.


Faith in the endgame helps you live through the months or years of build up

A successful business comes down to execution and effort, but these can be difficult things to get through. Working hard every single day to start your own business can be exhausting and the pay off is a long way in the future. But if you have a very definite goal, a clear understanding of what it is that you’re fighting for, these difficulties can be easier to bear.


Bad decisions made with good intentions are still bad decisions

Starting and running a successful business if about how effective you can be in the marketplace. How you feel about a certain outcome does not matter as much as the effect the outcome has one your business. Every decision you make needs to be carefully considered. If it turns out to be the wrong decision, immediate steps need to be made to rectify them.

            One very common problem of new business owners is that they stick to decision they have made that have not proven themselves to be effective. How much you want something to work has no relevance to how well it does work.


Stop trying to be interesting. Invest your time trying to be interested.

This was advice given to Collins from famous author John Gardner. This is god advice for success in general. People too often focus on making themselves seem interesting. A more effective, more enriching and more worthwhile endeavor is to find a way to be interested. Find something that motivates you, inspires you and moves you forward. Following this thing will make you someone who worth others’ interest.


Take advantage of the successes of others by considering the lessons they’ve learned and the advice they want to share. The ideas about will help you build a small business from the ground up and turn it into something big.