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There was a good talk and interview with Condoleezza Rice. I’m very impressed with her candor and knowledge. Might not agree with her fully on every policy, but she seems the most normal of any politician I’ve ever seen.

Now, Jim Collins, one of my favorites.

I heard this talk last Fall at Catalyst. It’s a good talk. “Boooo” to hearing the same thing, but it’s good stuff. So here are the notes.

The X Factor of great leadership is humility. But there is more that you need: Fanatic discipline, empirical creativity, productive paranoia.

  • Fanatic Discipline
    • “20-mile march” breeds consistency and you know what needs to happen everyday.
    • Manage yourself in good times so that you do well in bad times.
    • Identify your 20-mile march and stay with it — Consistent, consecutive performance
    • Do not overstretch.
    • If you do not change, you will fall or become irrelevant.
    • The true signature of mediocrity is inconsistency.
  • Empirical Creativity
    • Try little things to see what works before risking the big bet.
    • Calibrate your systems before launching large.
    • Blend creativity with discipline. Innovation that works takes discipline.
    • Discipline is the hard part, not creativity.
    • Creativity is natural. Discipline is not.
    • But discipline should amplify the creativity, not suppress it.
  • Productive Paranoia
    • The only mistakes you can learn from are the ones you survive.
    • Give yourself contingencies.

The greatest risk is not failing, it is failing and not knowing why.

SMaC principle – “specific,” “methodical,” and “consistent” recipe for organizational success

An organization is not truly great unless it can be great without you.

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