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Go to the Index of 120 Philosophers Squared

James Charles Collins (1958-   ), American statistician of business success from Stanford University. The greatest pleasure life has to offer is the satisfaction that flows from… participating in a difficult and constructive undertaking.

James Charles Collins

Jim Collins is a researcher of motivations for productive life and business strategist

Sources of quotations of Jim Collins: Built to Last, Good to Great, Great by Choice,



The greatest pleasure life has to offer is the satisfaction that flows from… participating in a difficult and constructive undertaking.

What do the right people want more than anything else? To be part of a winning team. When the right people see a simple plan developed from understanding – not bravado, they will say: count me in!

Freely chosen, discipline is absolute freedom.

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

The old adage ‘People are your most important asset’ is wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are.

It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.

The right people don’t need to be tightly managed; they are self-motivated by the inner drive to produce.

Expending energy trying to motivate people is largely a waste of time.

Letting the wrong people hang around is unfair to all the right people, as they inevitably find themselves compensating for the inadequacies of the wrong people.

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.

What separates people is not the presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life.

You absolutely cannot make a series of good decisions without first confronting the brutal facts.

Be relentlessly disciplined at confronting the most brutal facts of your current reality.

Infused the entire process with the brutal facts of reality.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. F. Scott Fitzgerald

You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end. James Stockdale

Victory awaits him who has everything in order—luck people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen, The South Pole

Although impatient for morning I slept soundly. I had no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams. Winston Churchill

Peter Drucker taught, the best—perhaps even the only—way to predict the future is to create it.

WHY 20 MILE MARCHERS WIN – 20 Mile Marching helps turn the odds in your favor for three reasons: 1. It builds confidence in your ability to perform well in adverse circumstances. 2. It reduces the likelihood of catastrophe when you’re hit by turbulent disruption. 3. It helps you exert self-control in an out-of-control environment.

The great-idea approach shifts your attention away from seeing the company as your ultimate creation.

Let’s just try a lot of stuff and keep what works. Shoot bullets before cannonballs.

Lots of goals—beauty, quality, life change, love—are worthy but not quantifiable. But you do have to be able to tell if you’re making progress.


COMMENTS

If Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are considered to be philosophers, then surely Jim Collins is a philosopher. Marx and Engels postulated what might work for society, but Collins creates a system of material production that is based on collecting factual information on what really works, rather than what ought to work. His writings are based on what motivates people to do excellent work. The greatest pleasure life has to offer is the satisfaction that flows from… participating in a difficult and constructive undertaking. I was brought to Collins by my thoughts on last week’s Philosopher Squared selection, John Rawls, who is considered a major philosopher of human behavior, but I was struck by how unworkable his ideas were, and so it seemed reasonable to find the most practically minded current philosophers.

You must find the right people, because, Expending energy trying to motivate people is largely a waste of time. It is critical to find the right people for your ventures because, The right people don’t need to be tightly managed, they are self-motivated by the inner drive to produce. If you are surrounded by people who share the group’s vision and are individuals capable of self-motivation, then they will be eager to do the right thing to the best of their abilities. Collins may sound dictatorial when he writes, You absolutely cannot make a series of good decisions without first confronting the brutal facts, but it is obvious that unless the individuals of the group, and especially its management leaders, don’t face reality squarely, the group will drift away from any worthwhile goal. Without a clear goal, and people willing to do the work necessary to reach it, the group will drift into mediocrity and bureaucratic muddle.

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