Jim Collin’s Advice to Young Leaders

July 13, 2017 — Leave a comment

Back in 2010, Jim Collins gave a brilliant talk on leadership at the Drucker Day Keynote.

The whole thing is worth listening to, but starting at minute 47 – Jim spends the last 10 minutes of his talk addressing young leaders – with 10 words of advice.

The best of what he says:

1) Build a personal board of directors
  • For me – this has come through seeking out meetings with great leaders. Not sure who to meet with? Ask a great leader – “who are great leaders I should learn from?” Cru staff – SPEND YOUR CRU17 DOING THIS.
  • As you meet great leaders, you’ll find leaders that really challenge you to grow and that, personally, you just like. Just give them a call every few months to see what they’re learning and what interesting problems they’re trying to solve. And ask them for help on a problem you’re trying to solve.
2) Turn off your electronic gadgets – not for others but for yourself. Great leaders take time to think.
3) Work on your three circles-
  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. What can you be the best at in the world?
  3. What drives your economic engine? What are you useful for?
    • This one is more difficult in ministry. Business leaders are driven by profit.
    • Collins says the question for non-profits is, “How effectively do we deliver on our mission and make a distinctive impact, relative to our resources?”
    • I would offer that laborers is a key metric for college ministry.
    • Another possible measurement – staff to student ratio (how effectively we are delivering on our mission relative to our resources). How many students are involved per staff on campus? I’ve heard 50/1 is a good starting place.
  • These three build on each other – “Consistently well executed, accumulating one upon another, over a long period of time.”
4) What is your questions to statements ratio and can you double it? You spend way too much time being interesting. Why don’t you channel your energy into being interested. Learn from everyone you meet.
10) Prepare to live a life where at age 65 you’re 1/3 of the way through your work
  • This is definitely my goal! To live and do ministry in such a way that each decade builds upon itself and when you hit 65, you’re doing your best work with the greatest influence.
  • Love this from John Piper (that he wrote during the Presidential campaign of 2016) – Hillary, Bernie, Donald and Me. At age 70, his zeal and work output are ramping up!
Here’s Jim’s talk, starting at minute 47 when he begins to address young leaders:



Posts Twitter

P.S. - I'd love to connect with you on Twitter: here