Interview with Jim Collins

I've been looking forward to this session in the Leadership Summit. Jim Collins has read some tremendous books including Good to Great and Built to Last. He shares thoughts out of the short monograph he wrote as an addendum called Good to Great and the Social Sectors. I read this little booklet earlier this year and found it fascinating, and so have been looking forward to this session. Some highlights from Jim's interview...

  • It is a false assumption that churches should be run like a business.
  • Most business are symbols of mediocrity. Why would we want that in the church?
  • In business, money is both an input and an output (definition of success). In church, money is only an input. The outputs are different.
  • Churches sometimes say, "It's tough to measure our success." That is a statement that comes out of lack of discipline. You have to think about why you exist.
  • What would be lost in your community if your church ceased to exist?
  • Even though it is more difficult to develop meaningful metrics in a church, it is so much more important to do that because the stakes are so high.
  • Even if it is not quantifiable, would 12 jurors convict you of improving? Are we getting better?
  • In churches, the "executive" or pastor rarely holds the power to be able to make a decision by himself or herself. Therefore, the church requires a different kind of leader who can architect the environment to effect change.
  • Great leaders find the right people first, then establish the vision. Mediocre leaders set a vision and try to rally leaders toward that vision. It is first "who" -- then "what."
  • Building something great is not a function of your circumstances. It is a function of your choices and your discipline.
  • Every church, every organization, every business has their reason for not being great. Greatness is not a condition of the constraints you are dealt.
  • One of the things that can mess up churches--designated giving. They need to focus on building a great church, not great programs.

Once again, Jim Collins didn't disappoint. This session had huge take-aways for the church and will give me much to think about as it relates to my leadership at Granger.

Tim StevensComment