Saturday, August 06, 2005

"...the moment we begin to think of ourselves as great, we will have lost it."

Excerpted from a recent Charlie Rose transcript:


JIM COLLINS: Let me just share with you a little story that`s from back from when we were doing the research on "Good to Great" -- I had an executive who asked if we could take their company out of the book. This was on the positive side of the ledger.


JIM COLLINS: . because, you know, we always have the good to greats or the great companies, and we have the direct comparisons. And -- and I said, well, you`re a publicly traded company, you beat the market by some huge amount, I think it was 15 times the market, you`re extraordinarily successful. I`m sorry, ball game, data is in. You went from good to great, you`re in the book. So there was this pause, and - and he said: "Well, I`m sort of disappointed to hear that," and I was puzzled and I said, well, why? And he said, "the moment we begin to think of ourselves as great, we will have lost it."


JIM COLLINS: And I don`t want us or our people to pick up a copy of your book and say ....

CHARLIE ROSE: So, we`re great.

JIM COLLINS: We`re great. And in many ways, greatness is this elusive thing. Good to great means you`re always only good relative to.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. It also means it`s always a journey.

JIM COLLINS: It`s always a journey. It`s always what`s next. You`re up, every time you think you`re at the top, there`s another mountain.



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