April 11, 2011

Level 5 Leadership

Posted in BADM 720 tagged , , , , at 7:22 pm by Sarah

The first thing I noticed about this week’s reading was some odd language.  First: “Good-to-great transformations don’t happen without Level 5 leaders at the helm.  They just don’t.”  My statistics professor has been saying all semester that we never definitively prove anything in statistics; rather, we deal with a little thing called reasonable doubt.  So how does a professional business article get away with a statement like that?

Second: “I gave the research teams explicit instructions to downplay the role of top executives in their analyses.”  So they are deliberately gathering biased data to make the results say what the author wants them to say?  This flies in the face of everything I thought I knew about research, statistics, and not least of all, ethics.

My next thought was Who is this guy and how am I supposed to consider him an authority or even a scholar? This guy, I then noticed, is the (in)famous Jim Collins, author of the “Good to Great” piece of work that got slammed in our reading a couple weeks ago.  Now I understand.

Now that my attitude was affected by my previous knowledge of the author’s work, reading the rest of the piece only went downhill.  I ended up feeling like he basically took way too many pages to say over and over again that his favorite company leaders were ones that balanced extreme humility with an insistence upon exemplary work.  He should consider taking a few pages from his idols’ books.