The average American business person may not necessarily recognize the name or photo of Jim Collins. He hasn’t published as many titles as most of the other authors we’ve spotlighted in this series thus far. However, the few titles he has shared with the business world have generated tremendous influence on individuals and organizations worldwide. As far as the number of best sellers, he’s just getting started. Leave room on your shelf under “C.”
While the name may not ring a bell, there’s an excellent chance you’d recognize the titles of one or more of his bestsellers, and you’ve probably been exposed to his research, theories, and strategies revealed in his work.
Published in 1994, Built to Last has been a fixture on the Business Week best-seller list for more than six years and has been translated into 29 languages.
Published in 2001, Good to Great has attained long-running positions on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week best-seller lists, has sold 3 million hardcover copies since publication and has been translated into 35 languages, including Latvian, Mongolian and Vietnamese.
How the Mighty Fall is his most recent book published in May of 2009. Count on this one to join the ranks of popularity of the previous two titles as the author reveals that every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. The book describes the five step-wise stages of decline and how to reverse their course.
Collins co-authored this book with William C. Lazier in 1995 providing entrepreneurs with building blocks to help their companies sustain high performance, play a leadership role in their industries, and remain great for generations.
Collins is an American business consultant, author, and lecturer on the subject of company sustainability and growth. He frequently contributes to Harvard Business Review, Business Week, Fortune and other magazines and journals. Jim Collins is a student and teacher of enduring great companies—how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great companies. Having invested more than a decade of research into the topic, he knows of what he speaks.
Jim has served as a teacher to senior executives and CEOs at more than a hundred corporations. He has also worked with social sector organizations, such as: Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Leadership Network of Churches, the American Association of K-12 School Superintendents, and the United States Marine Corps. In 2005 he published a monograph: Good to Great and the Social Sectors.
Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he now conducts research and teaches executives from the corporate and social sectors.
He also re-published an autobiography called Test Pilot written by Collins’ grandfather, Jimmy Collins, for whom Jim Collins is named. Grandfather Jimmy Collins was the chief test pilot for the Grumman military aircraft company during the 1930s, and Clark Gable portrayed him in the movie version of his book. Jimmy Collins died testing the F3 biplane, which crashed while he was testing it.