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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Collins

Success is harder to handle than failure.

Do you tend to interject a “but” when boasting of a success story?

By Dan Rockwell?

I feel great, but…

I am doing fine, but…

We did great, but there’s more to do…

We’re doing great but we’re not there yet...

Things are going smoothly, but we don’t want to get comfortable…

Too much “not there yet” and you discourage the team. Too much celebrating success and everyone thinks you’ve arrived.

Do you think that if you say “but” after forward movement, you’re a dark cloud, a dissatisfied downer?

It’s like a dripping faucet. You discourage. You don’t motivate.

“It’s good to have a battle, it gives you a goal.” Mike Howard, Chief Security Officer at Microsoft

When things are going well “successful leaders” always think what’s next; they always press forward.

Jim Collins said: “Hi performing leaders are paranoid performers. They’re always asking, ‘What if,’ and then preparing for it. They think about and anticipate the day of ‘bad things.”

We’re asking ourselves, “What haven’t we thought of”?

“Be proud of success, BUT…”

The two-sided challenge of leadership is dissatisfaction during success and honoring progress when you fall short.

Positive work environments are never an accident. They’re created by leaders who think and act with positive attitudes.

The function of success is not comfort but fire.

Give it a break. Bring up your “but” tomorrow.

Don’t let your “but” diminish your success.

Help everyone enjoy hard earned successes; enjoy them yourself.

Pick your “buts” carefully: They have no functions in explaining a success story…

Wonder why I hate “Buts” in sentences. I substitute And. And I am not a success story… Just an intuition of the harmful reactions we feel after we hear a “But”… Too boring this But…

How do you navigate the tension between celebrating success and the need to reach higher?

Note: Inspired by one of the posts of Dan Rockwell , with alteration and rearrangement

“Continuously doubt your understanding of things”? How about understanding fellow men?

Is Arrogance behind failure of successful organizations?

By Dan Rockwell?

Alan Wurtzel injunction is ““Continuously doubt your understanding of things”

And William Pollard to add: “The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” 

And why do organizations fail?

Are the reasons related to the supposed Leaders Fail, Plus One

“The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” William Pollard

Organizations fail because leaders fail and leaders fail because they:

  1. Stop learning.
  2. Don’t build the team.
  3. Can’t collaborate.
  4. Won’t adapt.
  5. Won’t delegate.
  6. Assume.
  7. Blame.
  8. Lack focus.
  9. Don’t communicate.
  10. Don’t plan.

Learning from failure:

I talked with Alan Wurtzel, former CEO of the now defunct Circuit City Stores, Inc., yesterday. (From more than 500 stores and 10 billion in sales to nothing.) He’s also the son of the founder, Sam Wurtzel.

Jim Collins chose Circuit City Stores, Inc. as a “great” company in, “Good to Great.” What happened?

Alan’s book, “Good to Great to Gone,” is his personal journey to make sense of what went wrong.

Its part history, part explanation, and most importantly, filled with powerful leadership lessons. I loved reading it.

Plus one:

Arrogance is the main reason leaders fail.

You could say there are many reasons leaders fail. I’ll say arrogance is behind most.

How many of the 10 reasons listed above are expressions of arrogance?

Circuit City thrived when its leadership acted humbly and died because of pride.

Wurtzel didn’t say that, I am. You might suggest they failed to adapt. I’ll say pride prevents leaders from adapting. Arrogance destroys.

Four Symptoms of leadership arrogance:

  1. Focusing on short-term success.
  2. Over concern about the opinion of others. Arrogant leaders are controlled by public opinion. Fear not confidence drives arrogant leaders.
  3. Unwillingness to admit mistakes; lying to save face.
  4. Blaming rather than taking responsibility.

Five powerful words from Wurtzel:

“I may not be right.”

Wurtzel’s five simple words answer arrogance. The greatest power of humility is it makes room for doubt. The most deadly power of pride is it prevents it.

How can leaders address the challenge of arrogance?

How have you seen arrogance hurt organizations and leaders?

Human Genome Project (HGP), a public consortium, started in 1993 with the goal of sequencing and decoding all genes in the ADN. Craig Venter also founded Celera Genomics to compete with HGP headed by Francis Collins; the two institutions managed to complete the job of decoding 21,000 gene combinations faster than expected within a decade due to new and cheaper technologies.  Over $3 billions were invested in this project.

Francis Collins had declared in 2001: “New therapeutic medicines, genetically tailor-made, will soon be introduced in the market to curing diabetes, hypertension, mental disorders, and many other ailments.” Francis Collins predicted that this dream will take effect no longer than 2010.

Well, we are in 2010 and not a single genetically tailor-made medicine was introduced.  Worse, we should not expect any breakthrough for a long time.  What are then the main difficulties and barriers?  It appears that technology is not synonymous with scientific knowledge.  For example, how a genome functions? After this first hurdle is crossed then, what are the effects of the horrendous number of interactions of these 21,000 genes?  There is this musoviscidose attributed to a single gene and yet, crossing from a theoretical knowledge to viable therapeutic treatments has proven to be a real headache.

The entire project didn’t start from any coherent set of hypotheses.  It was assumed that applications will automatically be generated from discovered data.  Many starting hypotheses proved to be wrong.  For example, researchers thought that genes conditioned the synthesis of proteins (essential for the proper functioning of cells); that genes were drowned in useless piles of ADN that failed to be eliminated in the course of evolution; that for each gene corresponded a unique protein that was coded by the intermediary of acid ribonucleic (ARN) serving as model for assembling of proteins.

All these hypotheses turned out to be incorrect.  It appears that genes are not linearly distributed unto the genome; that gene activities are influenced by various factors not explicitly coded in the genome; that the implications of a hereditary gene count little in the disease.  In short, there is this new big “black box” in the arsenal of sciences admitting ignorance.

After the discovery of the molecular structure of the ADN in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson, geneticists considered ADN to be the “Book of Life”; to be read as a manual of utilization. This paradigm stated “We are what our genes do to us.”

The scientist Jim Collins (not Francis) said:”We made the error of confounding data collection with the improvement of our knowledge.”  So far, the only general principle extracted from that labor of two decades is: “There is a link between the sequence of genes and the structure of a protein.”  Obviously, many more general principles have to reach consensus among scientists before anything useful can be done in therapeutic treatments.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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