What you can learn from Jim Collins approach to life.

by Fred Abramson on May 24, 2009 · 0 comments

Jim Collins

Jim Collins

As per my Sunday ritual of reading the New York Times, with a mug of coffee in hand, I came across this great profile of Jim Collins in today’s business section.  Jim Collins, along with Seth Godin, are the two business writers that have most influenced my thinking.  Mr. Collins has published a new book, titled “How the Mighty Fall:  And Why Some Companies Never Get In.”

Part of Jim Collins method is borrow from other hypersuccessful people.  Here’s what you can learn from how Mr. Collin’s approaches life:

1.  Mr. Collins keeps a stopwatch with three separate timers in his pocket at all times, stopping and starting them as he switches activities.  He analyzes every moment so that he uses every moment to its maximum effectiveness.

2.  He has an overarching goal for himself:  to produce a lasting and distinctive body of work.  We all need to have overarching goals and we should relentlessly pursue them.

3.  He approaches every aspect of his life with purpose and intensity.

4.  He is relentless about self-improvement.  Whether he is trying to sleep more or climb more effectively,  Mr. Collins is always working towards improving himself.

5.  He has a willingness to say no and focus on what not to do as much as what to do. He is quite practiced at saying no.  He turns down speaking lucrative speaking engagements because he wants to build ideas first and foremost.

6.  He believes small is beautiful.  Mr. Collins has only five employees.  He believes a lean company intensely focused on its goals is better than a large scattered company.

7.  He is picky about whom he hires.  He prefers to learn as much as possible before he meets them.  He looks for four intangibles:  smart, curious, willing to debate and some spark of irreverence. We should all do the same.

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