I saw a reference to a new book by Jim Collins in Shane Parish’s weekly newsletter, “Brain Food”. I was surprised – a new book by Jim Collins? I had not heard about it. I was intrigued. “Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0” (BE 2.0) beckoned. The first version of BE was published in 1992 – and I had not been aware of it. I had bought and read at different times all of Jim Collin’s other books and monographs – even though I never understood the depth of the ideas since the business I was running was too small or, as in the later years, I was less interested.
As I started reading BE 2.0, I felt my thoughts being played back to me. The timing was uncanny. The question I was wrestling with was exactly what the book answered. “How do I, as a leader, take my mid-sized enterprise and build an enduring great company?” As I read through the preface to the first edition (which is at the end of BE 2.0), I deeply connected with the premise: “This book is about how to turn an existing enterprise into an enduring great company. We’ve written it for people like Jim Gentes—people who want their company to be something special, worthy of admiration and pride. Our focus is on helping them build an extraordinary organization, one that sustains high performance, plays a leadership role in shaping its industry, rises to the status of role model, and remains great for generations. If you’re the leader of an enterprise that you want to turn into a great company, this book is for you.”
This book was indeed for me. As I started reading it, I also decided to do something different this time – listen to Jim Collins in his own voice. Over two days, I heard nearly ten hours of his podcasts – conversations with Michael Costello, Brene Brown, Shane Parish and Tim Ferris. Many of the ideas I had read in his previous but not fully absorbed came back to life – Level 5 Leadership, Hedgehog Concept, The Flywheel, Stockdale, Paradox, Bullets and Cannonballs, 20 Mile March and BHAGs.
As the world of Jim Collins’ writings enveloped me, I decided that I will do what it takes to make Netcore an enduring great company. In our third decade of existence, I would lay the foundation for the future – an ambition beyond wealth for myself; an institution with a purpose; a greatness with longevity. It would not be an easy journey, but one I was ready for. I had to also persuade our leadership team and everyone else that it would be a journey worth undertaking. Even as we focused on the weekly, monthly and quarterly, we would start laying the foundation for making Netcore an enduring great company. Our guide would be Jim Collins and his Map.
Tomorrow: Part 4