Quotees Archive

innovation without discipline leads to disaster.

- James C. Collins

Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.

- James C. Collins

It didn’t matter how bleak the situation or how stultifying their mediocrity, they all maintained unwavering faith that they would not just survive, but prevail as a great company. And yet, at the same time, they became relentlessly disciplined at confronting the most brutal facts of their current reality.

- James C. Collins

Hedgehog Concept—disciplined action, following from disciplined people who exercise disciplined thought.

- James C. Collins

It is very important to grasp that Level 5 leadership is not just about humility and modesty. It is equally about ferocious resolve, an almost stoic determination to do whatever needs to be done to make the company great.

- James C. Collins

Hewlett Packard Chairman Built Company by Design, Calculator by Chance.

- James C. Collins

It occurs to me, Jim, that you spend too much time trying to be interesting. Why don’t you invest more time being interested?

- James C. Collins

How many companies have you encountered that articulate a clear ideology at the start of the company, yet cannot articulate a clear idea of what products to make?

- James C. Collins

It occurs to me,Jim,that you spend too much time trying to be interesting. Why don’t you invest more time being interested? Collin’s advice from John Gardner that he took to heart.

- James C. Collins

I don’t know where we should take this company, but I do know that if I start with the right people, ask them the right questions, and engage them in vigorous debate, we will find a way to make this company great.

- James C. Collins

I… had no need for cheering dreams,” he wrote. Facts are better than dreams.

- James C. Collins

I’ve come to see institutional decline like a staged disease: harder to detect but easier to cure in the early stages, easier to detect but harder to cure in the later stages. An institution can look strong on the outside but already be sick on the inside,”

- James C. Collins

If we only have great companies, we will merely have a prosperous society, not a great one. Economic growth and power are the means, not the definition, of a great nation.

- James C. Collins

If you are a prospective entrepreneur with the desire to start and build a visionary company but have not yet taken the plunge because you don’t have a great idea,” we encourage you to lift from your shoulders the burden of the great-idea myth. Indeed, the evidence suggests that it might be better to not obsess on finding a great idea before launching a company. Why? Because the great-idea approach shifts your attention away from seeing the company as your ultimate creation.

- James C. Collins

If you have the wrong people, it doesn’t matter whether you discover the right direction; you still won’t have a great company. Great vision without great people is irrelevant.

- James C. Collins

Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat.

- James C. Collins

For no matter what we achieve, if we don’t spend the vast majority of our time with people we love and respect, we cannot possibly have a great life. But if we spend the vast majority of our time with people we love and respect – people we really enjoy being on the bus with and who will never disappoint us – then we will almost certainly have a great life, no matter where the bus goes. The people we interviewed from the good-to-great companies clearly loved what they did, largely because they loved who they did it with.

- James C. Collins

For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.

- James C. Collins

Freely chosen, discipline is absolute freedom.

- James C. Collins

Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.

- James C. Collins

greatness is first and foremost a matter of conscious choice and discipline.

- James C. Collins

A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.

- James C. Collins

A culture of discipline is not a principle of business, it is a principle of greatness.

- James C. Collins

Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions.

- James C. Collins

by breakthrough, broken into three broad stages: disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined.

- James C. Collins

By definition, it is not possible to everyone to be above the average.

- James C. Collins

Consider the idea that charisma can be as much a liability as an asset. Your strength of personality can sow the seeds of problems, when people filter the brutal facts from you.

- James C. Collins

Creativity dies in an indisciplined environment.

- James C. Collins

Darwin Smith stands as a classic example of what we came to call a Level 5 leader—an individual who blends extreme personal humility with intense professional will.

- James C. Collins

Enduring great companies don’t exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders. Indeed, in a truly great company, profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body: They are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very point of life.

- James C. Collins

Faith in the endgame helps you live through the months or years of buildup.

- James C. Collins

Feedback

Let us know what's going on.

Reserve Your Seat

Attend the world's best business workshop

  • Credit cards accepted

Get More Info

Learn more about the world's best business conference

Get Started

Your first month is ONLY $1!

Get Started

Schedule your FREE 60 minute coaching session

Get Your FREE eBook

Get Your FREE BOOM eBook

You will be redirected to your dashboard in a moment.

Fill out the information below to cancel your subscription