Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Jim Collins - Reflections on his mentors...

Jim Collins' presentation had a few nuggets in his talk, but the part I loved the best were his stories about his mentors.. here are a few great comments:

John Gardner taught him about the importance of learning and being curious. He loves to quote one of of Gardner's best statements to him.. Jim, you need to spend more time being interested, and less time trying to be interesting." The message.. Life is about asking questions and being curious about why something is the way it is.

Bill Lazier was the who Collins refered to as his chairman or his personal board of directors.. his team of mentors. He credits Bill with teaching him the principle that there are two paths he could take in life.. he could build relationships or he could just do transactions. The latter would never lead to success.

Joann Ernst (wife and Ironman Champion) taught him about asking the right question. She was facing breast cancer and one day his was asking all these "what" questions. What are going to do about this.. or that.. etc.. She looked at him, smiled and said.. "You need to read your own book.. It is not the "what" questions we need to be answering, we need to be answering "who" questions! Who do we need to go see? Who can help us with this or that?

Rochele Myers
helped him to personalize his work. What is your personal hedgehog. Align the following three answers..
  • What can you be the best in the world at? (And equally important—what can you not be the best at?)
  • What is the financial need that best drives you?
  • And what are you deeply passionate about?
Rochelle helped him to realize that the building a "do not do" list was the most important thing he needed.

He also had two great quotes from Peter Drucker. He ask Peter Drucker, out of the over 30 or more books he has published, which was he most proud of. The response was classic Drucker.. "The next one!" At the end of his day with Drucker, he ask him how he could ever pay him back. Drucker told him to go become a mentor to others! and then at the end of their conversation, Drucker slammed his hand down and said.. "Now.. go out and make yourself useful!"

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