Monday, August 10, 2009

Bloggers Book Study: How the Migthy Fall...

If you missed the introduction to Jim Collins book "How the Mighty Fall" jump over to Matt Miller's blog here. I will begin the second part today- the first two stages of decline.

Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success:
Collins opens up with the beginning of Motorola's fall from greatness. It started with stage 1.
Hubris: "excessive pride that brings down a hero, or alternatively, outrageous arrogance that inflicts suffering upon the innocent." Yikes!
Multiple forms of hubris:
1. undisciplined leaps
2. company's pursuit of growth beyond what what it can deliver with excellence
3. bold, risky decisions of conflicting or negative evidence
4. denying that the company may be at possible risks, due to other competitors
5. And finally the most insidious form of hubris: Arrogant Neglect
Markers for Stage 1: [self- diagnostic checklist of possible decline]
1. Success entitlement, Arrogance: people begin to believe that success will continue almost no matter what the organization decides to do, or not to do
2. Neglect of a primary flywheel: leaders neglect [due to distractions] a primary flywheel, failing to renew it with the same creative intensity that made it great in the first place
3. " What" replaces "Why": rhetoric of success [we're successful b/c we do these specific things] replaces understanding & insight [we're successful b/c we understand why we do these specific things & under what conditions they would no longer work]
4. Decline in learning orientation: leaders lose the inquisitiveness & learning orientation that mark those truly great individuals who, no matter how successful they become, maintain learning curve as steep as when they first began their careers.

Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More
Opens with the thought that many companies fall because of complacency
"Over reaching tends to increase after a legendary leader steps away."
The best leaders, in these two sections "had a peculiar genius for seeing themselves as not all that important, recognizing to build an executive team & to craft a culture based on core values that do not depend on a single heroic leader." [eg. Walmart, Best Buy]
Though he is a "leadership skeptic" he concludes: "while no leader can single-handedly build an enduring great company, the wrong leader vested with power can almost single-handedly bring a company down."

Join the next sections by visiting Lilibeth's blog here.
What are some companies and/or leaders that you've seen start off great but then failed?
What areas do you want to improve or continually practice as you lead your ministry, occupation, family?
Continue being a leader that learns, grows, and works out humbleness... hmmm.. good things for me to put into practice...

10 comments:

Yoel said...

"Hubris: "excessive pride that brings down a hero, or alternatively, outrageous arrogance that inflicts suffering upon the innocent." Yikes indeed, wow!

"The best leaders, in these two sections "had a peculiar genius for seeing themselves as not all that important, recognizing to build an executive team & to craft a culture based on core values that do not depend on a single heroic leader."
That's really cool, especially the part about building a culture that doesn't depend on a single heroic leader.
This is some good stuff... Great review Marcy, thank you!

Stacie said...

"many companies fall because of complacency"

I pray that we will never fall into the trap of complacency.

Mauricio said...

When "What" replaces "Why"...that is a scary one because it's such a subtle shift. I think you need to be regularly asking yourself or others if they see this one in you, because I think we run so hard that it's easy in all of the busyness to forget to stop and ask ourselves why we're doing what we're doing...


it is tradition? Because it's what we're comfortable with? Is this thing I'm doing really a hamster wheel in disguise? What if we changed something to see what would happen?

Heredes Ribeiro said...

"while no leader can single-handedly build an enduring great company, the wrong leader vested with power can almost single-handedly bring a company down."

WOW & YIKES !

thx MArcy

-H

April Jung said...

Good review Marcy :) Like that there are some markers laid out for us to check ourselves and organizations. I've always been leary of that second form of hubris..."pursuit of growth beyond what what it can deliver with excellence." I never want to do anything half-way, so I'm always double-checking to see if I'm ready. This could just be fear of failure in disguise tho :) But I think it's a fine line we have to walk between pushing our teams/organizations to grow, without over-reaching.

Thanks, girl! :)

BZ Ward said...

Re. the passage Heredes quoted: None of us gets a pass, either! We have to be loving truth tellers.

Because often when a leader takes an organization down a self-destructive path, he doesn't have truth-tellers around him, but rather "hangers-on" or fans(people who want success by association).

Thanks, Marcy!!

LeadHership: said...

God called it, man. "Pride comes before the fall" My pathetic claim to fame is I one time karoaked w/ the Motorola family at a bar near Chicago (which is where the co. is based & the family lives) I remember watchign them the whole night thinking how great their lives r, how they have it all....

good word, marcella

ann marie said...

i read it. thanks for the review marcy!

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