*According to NY Times Bestselling author Jim Collins. (No relation.)
My husband is a big reader. Not of fiction, mind you. He told me once that he likes to read books that are “useful” and “actually teach me something about the world.” As is, not fiction. You can imagine, I had a hotly worded response.
But I digress. I wanted to tell you about a book he’s been reading which I have actually found surprisingly “useful” as well. The book is the huge bestseller Good to Great by. Jim Collins. (Again, no relation. I only wish.)
Basically, the book chronicles Mr. Collins’ study of the top, or Great, companies in America. He carefully analyzes and breaks down why these companies make it and others don’t. What they have that others do not.
Now, you may be wondering if I am planning to make a venture into business. To that, I would say, aren’t we all? The business of writing. In fact, as my husband and I have discussed much of the book, I keep likening it all back to writing. And it fits quite well. It’s rather fascinating. Therefore, for the rest of the week, I plan on sharing some of the things I’ve learned from Good to Great and analyzing how that applies to us, the writers.
Just to start the week off, I’ll leave you with one tidbit that really struck me in my current situation. One of the attributes that Mr. Collins noticed every single Great company having is what he calls the Stockdale Paradox. (And just try to tell me this doesn’t relate to writing):
THE STOCKDALE PARADOX
Retain absolute faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties AND, at the same time, confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
Facinating, isn’t it? And oh, so relevant to us writers. What I think is so interesting about it is that it’s advice we’ve all heard before, and yet it’s clearly more than just quaint sentiment. According to hard research, it’s the mentality of winners.
More from Mr. Collins tomorrow.