Three Weapons to Battle Complacency
If you embrace three things - fanatic discipline, empirical creativity, and the ambition for something bigger than yourself - you are going to be of immense value to whatever enterprise that you’re part of.
Jim’s book, GOOD TO GREAT: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... And Others Don’t, attained long-running positions on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week best seller lists, has sold 3 million hardcover copies since publication and has been translated into 35 languages, including such languages as Latvian, Mongolian and Vietnamese.
His most recent book, HOW THE MIGHTY FALL: And Why Some Companies Never Give In, was published on May 19, 2009.
Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he now conducts research and teaches executives from the corporate and social sectors.
Jim has served as a teacher to senior executives and CEOs at over a hundred corporations. He has also worked with social sector organizations, such as: Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Leadership Network of Churches, the American Association of K-12 School Superintendents, and the United States Marine Corps. In 2005 he published a monograph: Good to Great and the Social Sectors.
In addition, Jim is an avid rock climber and has made one-day ascents of the North Face of Half Dome and the Nose route on the South Face of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. He continues to climb at the 5.13 grade.
Imagine a triangle of fanatic discipline, empirical creativity, and productive paranoia, all driven by some ambition that’s bigger than you. That is the complete extreme antithesis of complacency.
If you are truly a disciplined, obsessed, monomaniacal fanatic discipline, you’re non-complacent. If you are firing bullets and you are bringing a constant and empirical approach, that is not complacent. And if you are building reserve funds and you are always asking the question, "What if?" what could go wrong? What could come around the corner? What opportunity might be there? That’s the productive paranoia. It is the complete antithesis of complacency.
The only issue is that you might actually not sleep as much as you might like. These people are obsessed, they are creative, they are intense. And the idea of stopping, of resting, of breathing, why would you do that when there’s so much to create? Why would you do that when there’s so much that could hit you? Why would you do that when you are on a relentless march to accomplish something?
So if you embrace these three - you have fanatic discipline, you have empirical creativity, you have productive paranoia, and you have ambition for something bigger than yourself, you are going to be of immense value to whatever enterprise that you’re part of. The only problem is you’re probably going to discover that you are of such immense value that you’ll want to go and do it yourself.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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