jim collins
jim collins articles


(Listed Alphabetically)

The 10 Greatest CEOs of All Time

What these extraordinary leaders can teach today's troubled executives.

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Leading Beyond the Walls, a book edited and produced by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management and published by Jossey-Bass
The most productive relationships are partnerships rooted in a freedom of choice vested in both parties to participate only in that which is mutually beneficial and uplifting.

Building Companies to Last

Inc. Special Issue—The State of Small Business
In a world of constant change, the fundamentals are more important than ever.

Building Your Company's Vision (not available online)

Harvard Business Review (with Jerry I. Porras)
This HBR cover story explains how companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed, while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world. For the full text of this article, please contact Harvard Business Review.

Change Is Good—But First, Know What Should Never Change

Reengineering and other prevailing management fads that urge dramatic change and fundamental transformation on all fronts are not only wrong, they are dangerous.

Companies Need Not Hire Outside CEOs to Stimulate Fundamental Change

Directorship (with Jerry I. Porras)
A visionary company can tick along for centuries, pursuing its purpose and expressing its core values long beyond the tenure of any individual leader.

The Death of the Charismatic Leader (and the Birth of an Architect)

This article is part of Inc.'s cover story, "What Comes Next?" Jim Collins points out that an enduring great company has to be built not to depend on an individual leader, because individuals die or retire or move on.

Expensive '"Name" CEOs Not Necessarily Best Leaders

USA Today
Imagine the absurdity of paying a CEO $100 million for performing so badly that he gets fired. If true, executive compensation has indeed reached a new level of insanity.

Fast Company's Greatest Hits: Ten Years of the Most Innovative Ideas in Business

Edited by Mark N. Vamos and David Lidsky (Foreword to the book published by Penguin Group)
We need to examine life, work, and the connection between the two. We live short and die long, in the words of Dr. Walter M. Bortz, and the urgency of getting on with what we are meant to do with this one short life increases with each passing day.

Good to Great

Fast Company
Start with 1,435 good companies. Examine their performance over 40 years. Find the 11 companies that became great. Now, here's how you can do it, too. Lessons on eggs, flywheels, hedgehogs, buses, and other essentials of business that can help you transform your company.

Hesselbein on Leadership

by Frances Hesselbein (Foreword to the book by Frances Hesselbein)
As we can learn from Frances Hesselbein, if your leadership flows first and foremost from inner character and integrity of ambition, then you can justly ask people to lend themselves to your organization and its mission—and you can create results.

Why do some companies fall from greatness? By understanding the Five Stages of Decline and avoiding their pitfalls, leaders can better sustain—or regain—great results.

Change is accelerating, uncertainty is permanent, and chaos is common. Yet some leaders and entrepreneurs navigate these conditions exceptionally well. They don't merely react; they create. They don't merely survive; they prevail. They don't merely succeed; they thrive.

Leadership Lessons from West Point

Edited by Major Doug Crandall (Foreword to the book published by Jossey-Bass)
"In business, if you make bad decisions, people lose money, and perhaps jobs," the captain said. "In the military, if you make bad decisions, nations can fall and people can die."

The Learning Executive

Becoming a learning person involves responding to every situation with learning in mind.

Level 5 Leadership (not available online)

Harvard Business Review
What catapults a company from merely good to truly great? A five-year research project searched for the answer to that question, and its discoveries ought to change the way we think about leadership. For the full text of this article, please contact Harvard Business Review.


by Peter F. Drucker (Foreword to the book by Peter F. Drucker)
There are two ways to change the world: the pen (the use of ideas) and the sword (the use of power). Peter Drucker chose the pen and thereby rewired the brains of thousands who carry the sword—and contributed as much to the triumph of the free world as any other individual.

Manager's Journal: High Returns amid Low Expectations

The Wall Street Journal
During the late 1990s, executives complained about out-of-whack expectations created by an irrational stock market. Now many of those same people complain about the pressures created by recession, war, terrorism, and a struggling market.

The Maverick and His Machine

by Kevin Maney (Foreword to the book by Kevin Maney)
Leaders like Thomas J. Watson Sr. are like forces of nature—almost terrifying in their release of energy and unpredictable volatility—but underneath they still adhere to certain patterns and principles.

The Misguided Mix-up of Celebrity and Leadership

Conference Board Annual Report, Annual Feature Essay
Virtually everything our modern culture believes about the type of leadership required to transform our institutions is wrong. It is also dangerous.

The Most Creative Product Ever

The next wave of enduring great companies will be built not by technical or product visionaries, but by social visionaries—those who see their company and how it operates as their ultimate creation, and who invent entirely new ways of organizing human effort and creativity.

Pulling the Plug

Want to make room for all those new projects? Stop one thing you're doing right now.

The Secret of Enduring Greatness

That most great institutions fall—and we cannot deny this fact—does not
mean you have to be one of them.

The Wizard, King, and Hobbit of Business

Fast Company
The story of a father who builds an empire, a reluctant son who battles against his father before inheriting the empire and taking it to greatness, and a stranger who shows up in the nick of time to save all that the father and son built.