Good to Great – A guide to transition from mediocre to exceptional

Good to Great talks about the methods and strategies that distinguish us from the crowd or herd. This book talks in great detail about power and crowds. It is vividly assumed that a power can be exercised only in the activities such as killing, seizing, eating and violence. But the real power is exercised by the survivors. They are the people who truly understand the meaning and definition of power.

The author Jim Collins, in Good to Great states that following a simple strategic mindset a person can very easily stand out from the crowd. And with the right set of leaders and people in position who believe in strict self-discipline, self-discipline can take the businesses from a point of mediocrity to sheer excellence.

You can check out the book summaries and audiobook summaries if you want to delve deep into this topic. You can easily find them on various book summary websites.

Now let’s first understand the relation between power and crowd. The author begins by explaining what the crowd is. A crowd is people who relate and identify with each other’s mentality.

There are five different types of crowds:

  • Baiting crowd- where everybody associates with each other on the basis of killing. They are together with an agenda of killing a particular person such as in the case of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.
  • Flight crowd- The next one is crowds of flight. These come together when faced with a common threat. Such a crowd loses its basis once the threat is over.
  • Prohibition crowd- The third type of crowd is prohibition crowd. They nullify the works of workers who are on a strike.
  • Reversal Crowds- They come together to establish equality and to bring down the people who trouble everyone with their position of power.
  • And finally, the fifth type i.e the feast crowds.

Now you might be guessing the similarities between these crowds. Growth, goal, density and equality are the four common things or factors found in all these crowds which binds them together.

Power is not just about indulging in forceful activities such as violence, seizing or eating. Rather it is about survival. Let’s take an example of a battlefield to understand this point. Think about the battlefield when the battle is over. The survivor powerfully looks upon the people who lost Imagine a battlefield shortly after the fighting has stopped. This act of being able to survive and achieve victory in a true sense is power. It feeds the survivor’s ego and in that brief moment he feels unconquerable and undefeatable.

Next, let’s move onto the relationship between symbol and power. A symbol unites the crowd thus uniting the entire country. A person is called a part of the nation when they stop being behaving like an individual and start behaving like a crowd. When the members are united by symbols, they look for opportunities to grow and expand. And they get these opportunities they feel equal and valued. These symbols make the members feel equal and valued. Let’s take an example to understand this point. English people identify with the sea which unites them and makes them a strong nation. Similarly, Germans relate with the rigidity of the upright trees that emerged after the First World War. Then it’s revolution for French people, and Dikes and matador for the Dutch and the Spanish.

The next point stated in the Good to Great summary is to understand the importance of transformation and its role in power. Transformation is considered the key factor that determines power. In this case the author got inspired by animals and mentioned their example to explain this point. Animals when they realise that they are stuck and cannot escape their predator hatch a plan for survival. They pretend to be dead in the hope of being left alone by their predator. This is a very important and relevant example to understand transformation. And thus, this transformation becomes the ultimate determinant of power.

Similarly, humans too practice transformation. Though they cannot change their color, shape, or pretend to be dead, they can certainly put on a mask and pretend to be friends with their enemies.

If you too want to practice and transform or want to excel from good to better, then you can check out the book summaries and audiobook summaries which are available on various book summary websites.

The author Jim Collins states in Good to Great that a person’s rank and personality also determines power. You can find out a person’s rank by the influence or authority they exercise among their friends, family and colleagues. For example: you come to know about a person’s position when the people around them are standing and the person in question is sitting comfortably and confidently.

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