Sunday, August 05, 2007

Good is the enemy of great...

Just came back from lake Tahoe. I'm in my mid-unemployment vacation now and I'm more busy then when I did work! Anyway, I have a brief trip report and pictures posted on the family site.

Next book I'll mention is Good to Great of Jim Collins (read his Built to Last too). Next I'll mention none business books too, I do have some programming and lifehacking books in my stack.

Like any other book of this type, Good to Great has a lot of very interesting stories. But in this book he really tries to emphasize the research his team made and why the reader should trust the book's conclusions. Though there are some questions about the research itself, I do think he is right about the basic concepts:

  • Level 5 Leadership - Makes you think what do you need in order to get there (if at all)
  • First Who... Then What - Very important. You can't think about everything, and you should take it as a fact that your plans will change. In the long run, only the right people in the right places will make it a win.
  • Confront the Brutal Facts - and we know we like to hide from them. The main conclusion is don't get sentimental with your own doing. Be ready to look for a new cheese even if you really love this one.
  • The Hedgehog Concept - I liked this one. The bottom line if FOCUS.
  • A Culture of Discipline
  • Technology Accelerators - as a techie its hard to digest, but I know its true. Technology is never a silver bullet. it will help you a lot, but its not enough.
I have nothing smart to say about these concepts other then that they do help you understand concepts and put them in a box. I see these concepts similarly to programming design patterns. In their classical book, the GoF helped us think clearly about how we design our code. Good to Great help us in similar ways to think about our none technical decisions.

The best thing I liked about the book its the slogan "Good is the enemy of great". Its very easy to get into our own comfort zone and being good is usually pretty easy. On the personal level, one of the ways I look at it is - having peaceful life is the enemy of having real fun.

Have fun!

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