Level 5 Leadership
- Which is harder to cultivate within yourself: humility
- If Level 5 is about ambition first and foremost
about the cause, the company, the work—not yourself—combined
with the will to make good on that ambition, then how
can each of us as individuals learn to take actions consistent
with being Level 5?
- Think of a Level 5 you have known. How did he or
she become Level 5? What can we learn from that person?
- Why do so few Level 5s get chosen for top spots
in our organizations? What can be done to change this?
- How might you tell if someone is the right person
on the bus?
- How might you tell if someone is simply in the
wrong seat as distinct from being the wrong person on
the bus entirely?
- Think of a case where you had doubts, but your
organization hired anyway. What was the outcome? Why did
the organization hire anyway, and what do you learn from
- If compensation is not the primary driver for the
right people on the bus, then what are the primary elements
in getting and keeping the right people on the bus? What
role does compensation play?
the Brutal Facts
- Which side of the Stockdale Paradox is harder for
you: unwavering faith or confront the brutal facts? Why?
- Think of two environments that you have been in.
The first being an environment that did not confront the
brutal facts and where people (and the truth) were not
heard. The second being an environment that did confront
the brutal facts and where people had a tremendous opportunity
to be heard. What accounts for the difference between
the two environments? What does the contrast teach about
how to construct an environment where the truth is heard?
- Do you have any red-flag mechanisms in your life
or organization? What ideas do you have for new ones?
- In leading a team, what is your questions to statements
Concept (the Three Circles)
- How long, on average, did it take the good-to-great
companies to clarify their hedgehog concepts? What implications
does this have about finding your own hedgehog concept?
- Are you engaged in work that fits your own three
circles: what you are passionate about, what you are genetically
encoded for, what you can get paid for? Do you need to
change? Which circle is hardest to get right? Why?
- Which is more important for an organization: the
goal to be the best at something, or realistic understanding
of what you can (and cannot) be the best at?
- Can each sub-unit and each person have a hedgehog
- How is the hedgehog concept different for a nonprofit
- If "rinsing your cottage cheese" is important,
how do you tell *which* cottage cheese is worth rinsing?
In other words, if diligent attention to detail is essential,
how do we decide which details are important, and which
- Think of two people: One being someone who only
sees his or her job as a "job" and the other
who understands that he or she has a responsibility. How
does this difference play itself out in their work? What
should we look for in locating such people?
- If class distinctions are deeply divisive, then
why do organizations persist in creating an executive
class that separates itself from those who do the real
work? If you ran the whole show, what would you remove
to reduce these class distinctions?
- Do you have a "stop doing" list? What do you put
on your "stop doing" list?
- If technology cannot make or break a company's
level of greatness, but only serves as an accelerator
of greatness or demise already in progress, then why did
everyone fall in love with technology for technology's
sake during the 1990s?
- Why is there so much hype and fear about new technologies,
and what can you do to view new technologies with objective
- Think of two organizations you've observed: one
that followed the flywheel principle, and the other that
fell into the Doom Loop. What caused the difference between
the two? What does your contrast teach about why so
many organizations fall into the Doom Loop, rather than
building momentum over the long term in the flywheel?
- How do you know when it is time to change the direction
of the flywheel?
- If big change programs with lots of hoopla, tag
lines, launch events, motivational meetings—and so
forth—do not lead to greatness, then why are such
programs so common? What should be done instead of these
- How can the flywheel concept apply to your own
life and career?
the Core/Stimulate Progress
- What are your core values?
- What is your core purpose, beyond just making money?
- What is your BHAG—Big Hairy Audacious Goal?
- What is your first five-year base camp on the
way to achieving the BHAG?
- What practices and strategies does your organization
have that are dysfunctional and should be open for change?