Collins’ Good to Great is perhaps the most helpful book I’ve read on this course to date. These books are not merely philosophical or theoretical, but full of proven principles and examples that hopefully will enable me to function better in my role. As Collins explains, it’s not a question of excellent principles that can be translated from the business sector into the social, but essentially are principles of greatness that apply in both. These principles, he explains, do not originate from the business world, but exist outside of it and can be therefore applied in either, equally well. 
As someone who is heading up a new start-up, the ‘Three Stages of Breakthrough’ have proved a most helpful insight. Collins summarises the three stages of breakthrough as follows:
- Disciplined People
- Level 5 Leadership
- First Who, Then What
- Disciplined Thought
- Confront the Brutal Facts
- Hedgehog Concept
- Disciplined Action
- Culture of Discipline
- Technology Accelerators
In my previous church I worked at in Seoul, there was a tendency to focus on charismatic leaders. Jim Cymbala, Haddon Robinson, Philip Yancey, and Francis Chan, were just some of the amazing speakers we’ve had at our English Ministry. Without a doubt they are men of great integrity and faith, but they were invited first and foremost because they were famous.
It’s not just churches that revere charismatic personalities. Businesses often assume that success is connected to employing enigmatic individuals from outside a company. However, through his research of good to great companies, Collins discovered that ten out of eleven CEO’s were actually employed and developed from within. He also discovered that a Level 5 leader is generally characterized by their desire for the greater good of the company, and not just their own benefit and egotistical needs. A Level 5 leader is selfless and plans for the success of the company, even when he or she will no longer be around. In summary, a Level 5 leader is recognized by the following strengths:
Level 5 = Humility + Professional Will + Modesty + Resolve + Determination
I found most helpful the principle of getting the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off. Already this year, since starting the organisation in March, I have learned the hard way the importance of not simply getting people in place, but of getting the right people. My husband often tells me how he employs his inner circle of staff based on their character, and not on their skill or experience. Now I understand where he borrowed that pearl of wisdom from! As Collins states, you can teach skills, but character, basic intelligence, work ethic, and dedication to fulfilling commitments are values that are ingrained in a person.
Good to Great has also caused me to think about what our Hedgehog Concept is, which I think is this: Saving and healing the broken and then equipping them to walk into their God-given purpose. From the eight week “Passion for Purpose” course that we’ve designed to enable people understand their purpose in life, the internship and Christian Ministry Diploma that we’re launching through our training college this October, to our focus on reaching the broken in our local community through our outreach programmes, everything is geared towards developing people, raising them up and equipping them into their destinies and callings. There is nothing I love more than discovering people’s strengths, passion and gifts and then training them up in their purpose. This, I have come to understand, is our ‘Hedgehog concept’. This is what I am passionate about.
Honestly, there’s so much I could say which I found helpful through these two books, but I’ll end here with this quote: “You will have the ultimate satisfaction knowing that your short time here on earth was well spent, and that it mattered.” Perhaps I have about another forty years left on this earth, which really isn’t long. It is my hope to leave behind an organization with strong enough principles and systems to make it enduring. Armed with Good to Great, I stand a better chance of making that happen. Time to start moving my flywheel.
 Jim Collins, Good To Great And the Social Sectors: A Monograph To Accompany Good To Great (London, UK: Random House, 2006), 5
 Jim Collins, ibid., 6-7
 Jim Collins, Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap And Others Don’t (London, UK: Random House, 2001), 12