Good to Great: A 5-Minute Look [Video]

Recently, I recorded a quick 5-minute video with Adam Slack, President of Two Roads, to discuss a few of his main takeaways from a classic book on business leadership, Good to Great by Jim Collins.

I start out talking about Jim’s flywheel concept and how many have misapplied it, so I wanted to take a step back, look at Good to Great from a 30,000 foot view, and have Adam share a few of his big takeaways from the book. Let’s dive right in.


Confront the Brutal Facts

Jim Collins says great companies evaluate where they’re failing first. Rather than starting a meeting with lofty goals, high fives, praising what’s working and how amazing we all are, he asks, “What is broken today that needs to be fixed?”

Any time Adam leads a strategy retreat, he aims to start with laying humble cards out on the table and establishing a clear foundation to grow on. Then, his team can walk away with 4-5 tangible things to attack to make the company better.

The 20-Mile March

Two people are racing to the South Pole. One pushes as fast as he can to go as far as he can every day, trying to get to the finish line first. The other commits to 20 miles each day – sun, rain, snow, whatever. No matter what, he’s going to make those 20 miles. Who wins? The 20-Mile March guy.

The concept: Don’t try to win overnight. Take a steady approach to the marketplace. Identify your plans and goals and march to them, very steadily. If you find yourself in a sprint, you’re probably going to wear out.

Slow down. Take a deep breath. Focus on consistent growth.

The Level 5 Leader

The first thing Adam identifies about the Level 5 Leader is that he’s not one (ha). According to, a Level 5 Leader has a unique combination of fierce resolve and humility. At least Adam’s got that humility thing down.

I’m going to get with Adam again soon to dig deeper into the qualities of a Level 5 leader, but in the meantime, check out Jim Collins’ Twitter feed @level5leaders which draws out even more insights from Good to Great and his follow-up monograph, Turning the Flywheel.

Hope you enjoyed the video and stay posted for more!

At Two Roads, we have the privilege of doing bookkeeping for hundreds of small business owners who are leaders in their industry. We’d love to talk with you about your vision for your business and how we can help you achieve your goals. Learn more about our services, give us a call at (865) 212-0063, or schedule a call.


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