The most treasured gifts in the world are kind words spontaneously tendered.
— Jim Collins
Jim Collins (jimcollins.com) is a student and teacher of what makes great companies tick and a Socratic advisor to leaders in the business and social sectors. Having invested more than a quarter-century in rigorous research, he has authored or co-authored six books that have sold in total more than 10 million copies worldwide. They include Good to Great, the #1 bestseller that examines why some companies make the leap to superior results, and its companion work Good to Great and the Social Sectors; the enduring classic Built to Last, which explores how some leaders build companies that remain visionary for generations; How the Mighty Fall, which delves into how once-great companies can self-destruct; and Great by Choice, which is about thriving in chaos—why some do and others don’t.
And now he’s updating his debut book, Beyond Entrepreneurship, for the 21st century. Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0: Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company is now available.
Please enjoy this round two with Jim Collins! (And if you haven’t already, make sure to check out round one here.)
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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…
Want to hear Jim’s first appearance on this show? Check out our conversation in which we discuss genuine humility versus false humility, discipline in service of creativity, maximizing those hours of creativity with a spreadsheet, the cognitive benefits of a well-timed nap, “who luck,” doom loops and flywheels, and much more.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Jim Collins:
- BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0): Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company by Jim Collins and William Lazier
- Jim Collins — A Rare Interview with a Reclusive Polymath | The Tim Ferriss Show 361
- Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
- Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking is Not the Answer by Jim Collins
- Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras
- How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In by Jim Collins
- Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck — Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
- Ed Zschau — The Polymath Professor Who Changed My Life | The Tim Ferriss Show #380
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs | Simply Psychology
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 | Music Appreciation
- Tim O’Reilly – The Trend Spotter | The Tim Ferriss Show #278
- The Prayer-Poems of Mary Oliver | Eureka Street
- Praying by Mary Oliver | Becoming Flame
- The White Peacock by D.H. Lawrence
- The Truth About The Left Brain / Right Brain Relationship | NPR
- The Second World War by Winston S. Churchill
- The Last Lion Box Set: Winston Spencer Churchill, 1874-1965 by William Manchester and Paul Reid
- Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War by William Manchester
- The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
- The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro
- Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
- Motherless Brooklyn | Prime Video
- Understanding the Brain | The Great Courses
- Questions of Value | The Great Courses
- Lincoln on Battlefield of Antietam | J. Paul Getty Museum
- For Jim Collins, No Question Is Too Big | The New York Times
- Twelve Questions | Jim Collins
- Green Bay Packers
- What is a Flywheel? | Wikipedia
- The Flywheel Effect | Jim Collins
- The Hedgehog Concept | Jim Collins
- Luck Is Just the Spark for Business Giants | The New York Times
- Peninsula Creamery Dairy Store & Grill
- On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
- Memorial Church | Stanford Live
- United States Military Academy West Point
- Leadership Lessons from West Point | Jim Collins
- Pyrrhic Victory: Winning the Battle, Losing the War | Farnam Street
- The Re-Education of Jim Collins | Inc.com
- Cadet Breaks 20-Year Indoor Obstacle Course Test (IOCT) Record | West Point
- Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale: Vietnam War Hero and Indomitable Spirit at the Hanoi Hilton | HistoryNet
- The Stockdale Paradox | Jim Collins
- Concept: Level 5 Leadership | Jim Collins
- The Jim Collins Life Improvement Technique You Can Try Right Now | Achievement Oriented
- Jim Collins’s Final Secret: How to Give Yourself Two Mornings in One | August Birch, Medium
- Use Notes on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch | Apple Support
- The Socratic Method: What it is and How to Use it in the Classroom | Tomorrow’s Professor Postings, Stanford
- How Do You Do “Stop Doing?” | Jim Collins
- Concepts Map | Jim Collins
- Genius of the AND | Jim Collins
- Clock Building, Not Time Telling | Jim Collins
- Productive Paranoia | Jim Collins
- Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs | Jim Collins
- Preserve the Core/Stimulate Progress | Jim Collins
- Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) | Jim Collins
- 20-Mile March | Jim Collins
- Patagonia Outdoor Clothing & Gear
- Serenity Crack, Yosemite Valley | SuperTopo
- The 1972 Chouinard Catalog | ClimbAZ.com
- Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard
- Spanish Paprika Mackerel | Patagonia Provisions
- Writer John McPhee Explains His ‘Old-Man Project’ | NPR
Note from the editor: Timestamps will be added shortly.
- Jim is well-known for asking good questions, so he was wondering: in what ways has my former entrepreneurship professor Ed Zschau been such a major influence in my life, and what has his colorful story taught me about the potential to really accelerate after age 60?
- After recently re-reading The 4-Hour Workweek, Jim wonders what keeps me going these days, and what’s changed for me in the 15 years since that book was written?
- What’s the point allocation between dark force motivations and light force motivations?
- Since Jim and I were both admitted into college by Dean Fred Hargadon, why does he think I got into Princeton, and what nuggets of wisdom did Dean Fred impart to him?
- Why you should never hesitate to reach out to mentors and people who have been instrumental in shaping your life.
- As someone who grew up with a fondness for biographies, which ones have been particularly influential to Jim–as examples of paths to follow as well as avoid? What does he find compelling about arcs that go in either direction?
- As someone I consider to be a craftsman of questions, what type of questions has Jim found to be effective at pulling their weight, and how does he arrive at them? Perhaps most important: how does he set the conditions to ensure their lessons stick?
- Who is Bill Lazier, and why is he worth having a conversation about? What life lessons has Jim taken away from his time with Bill–particularly regarding trust and, of all things, enjoying the butter on your waffles even if it kills you?
- Comparing and contrasting West Point Cadets with MBA students.
- What is the Stockdale Paradox, and how did it come about?
- We revisit Jim’s creativity-tracking spreadsheet from our last conversation and examine the role volatility plays in the daily figures, along with the patterns that can be discerned from these figures over time.
- As mere mortals, most of us all fall into the trap of comparing our own processes and accomplishments with those of others. But to whom do people as unique as Jim and one of his mentors–Stanford professor Michael Ray–compare themselves, and how do they break free from this counterproductive practice?
- What is the 20-Minute Rule?
- What Jim’s preparation mode looks like in practice, and how he keeps tabs on his to-dos, stop-dos, and prep-dos without overly complicating the process.
- What does Jim’s stop-do list look like?
- How and why Jim compiled 30 years of work into a consolidated map of concepts.
- To Jim, are there any companies that exemplify these concepts in action?
- The value of clock building over time telling.
- Will the entrepreneur become the builder? Jim’s thoughts on an important choice all successful founders will eventually have to make.
- Jim talks about his first encounter with Rochelle Myers, who he thinks of as “a cross between Socrates and Yoda,” and the important questions she taught him to ask himself.
- What would you stop doing if you only had a short time to live?
- What would Jim’s billboard say?
- Parting thoughts on mentors, John McPhee’s Old Man Project, and Jim’s next big question.
- Ed Zschau
- Peter Drucker
- John McPhee
- Ludwig van Beethoven
- Tim O’Reilly
- Mary Oliver
- D.H. Lawrence
- Joanne Ernst
- Fred Hargadon
- Winston Churchill
- William Manchester
- Robert Caro
- Lord John Dalberg-Acton
- Robert Moses
- Lyndon B. Johnson
- Ron Chernow
- George Washington
- Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus
- Edward Norton
- Alec Baldwin
- Jeanette Norden
- Patrick Grim
- Abraham Lincoln
- Steve Jobs
- Bill Lazier
- Jim Stockdale
- Michael Ray
- Irv Grousbeck
- Yvon Chouinard
- Rochelle Myers
- Jerry Porras
- Walt Disney
- David Packard
- Tom Watson, Sr.
- George Rathmann
- Herb Kelleher
- R.W. Johnson
- Willard Marriott
- Paul Galvin
- Anne Bakar
- Bill Hewlett
- Jeff Bezos
- Bill Gates
- Charles Munger
- Nancy Munger
- Katharine Graham
- Mario Andretti