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Good to great, at the Jim Collins event

“No matter how much time you spend on the Strategic Plan, it has to start with the right people in the right seats. If you don’t do that, almost nothing else matters.”

Josh Schrock, CEO of Rize Realty on his takeaways from Jim Collins

In mid-October I had the opportunity to host a few of my clients at a leadership workshop in Chicago led by Jim Collins. Author of Good to Great and Built to Last, Jim Collins is a world renowned business leader and thinker, who’s insights have helped countless business leaders across the world. His books are some of the most referenced when discussing business growth and longevity.

It is rare for Jim Collins to do a live workshop, so when I found out he would be doing a full day workshop in Chicago, I jumped at the opportunity and encouraged the CEOs and business leaders that I work with to accompany me. In the end, I reserved a table up front where five of my clients and I sat to get as much as possible out of the event.

The trip was a two day excursion. Jim Collins’ workshop would comprise day one. And day two was a workshop I led to debrief the session with my clients and synthesize everyone’s takeaways and find key commonalities. Despite the tight schedule, we managed to even get in a dinner with other Metronomics coaches and business leaders to compare notes!

During day one, Jim focused on the concepts in his books and elaborated on key tools that he has developed. He took time to go in depth on some of the most foundational concepts of his teachings.Throughout the workshop, he challenged those in attendance with specific exercises and questions, encouraging them to reflect and share with their neighbors. This enabled the participants to discuss their own businesses and find commonalities; a rare opportunity in the world of business leadership.

The phrase “It’s lonely at the top” is indeed true. Being a CEO or business leader does not provide you with many ways of connecting with other like-minded senior leaders to discuss the challenges of running a business. Jim Collins built discussion and conversation into the workshop, specifically to combat this. He enabled participants to connect with the people around them and share their own experiences in relation to the concepts he presented. Participants were able to find commonalities and bounce ideas off of one another to great even more comprehensive understanding of business leadership techniques.

Metronomic Dinner

After the first day’s workshop, a select group of participants, including my clients and myself, got together for a Metronomics dinner hosted by Metronomics creator and lead coach, Shannon Susko. The dinner provided an opportunity to integrate the pedagogy of Jim Collins into the Metronomics framework. Over a meal, we were able to discuss the ways you could use Jim Collins concepts to enhance the methodology behind Metronomics. CEOs from the US and Canada were able to compare and contrast their Metronomics implementation with others. It was great to get to know the other coaches and CEOs growing their business through Metronomics.

Jim Collins Teachings

The following day I led my clients through a workshop to debrief and synthesize the wisdom of Jim Collins and the framework of Metronomics with the aim of generating a solid plan for progress and growth for each of their businesses. During the morning, we hammered home some of the key concepts, found commonalities and committed to actions we would each take to apply specific concepts to our businesses. Everyone in attendance committed to a specific action plan they would take for their business built on a key concept from Jim Collins.

Below are the top three concepts that had the most value and relevance to us:


Real change, and real progress doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen because of one specific action. Instead, it’s a consistent build of numerous actions, each building on the one prior. Jim Collins uses the notion of a flywheel, continually turning to illustrate this concept. A Flywheel builds momentum, turn after turn, as it is consistently rotated. Business leaders can often be led astray looking for that silver bullet that will fix all their problems when in fact the key is consistent actions at a steady pace.


Another key concept of Jim Collins that works in conjunction with the Flywheel is the 20 Mile March, a vital metaphor about consistency. A steady pace is what wins marathons. If you want to grow long-term, build a BHAG, break it down, and ensure that every day progress is moving steadily in the right direction. There will be days where there is more resistance and push back, and there will be days where there is less, but what makes a company go from Good to Great is a steady pace towards achieving their goals.


When shifting focus and realigning your vision for your company it’s crucial to pace your changes and the level of resources you invest in each shift. Over investment too early can cause drastic and costly effects. Start by firing bullets: smaller, low-risk, low-impact initiatives to test the waters. Use the results of these smaller actions to calibrate larger initiatives that are more significant but more finely calibrated. Unfocused cannonballs can cause serious damage but precise, calibrated shots can lead to massive results. At first, start with bullets, and when you’re calibrated and ready, fire cannonballs.

These were only some of the main takeaways we had, but there were many more that Jim Collins went over like Level 5 Leadership, and First Who, Then What. It was such an incredible opportunity to not only get to work directly with Jim Collins but also take a handful of my clients with. We will certainly all be incorporating key concepts into our Strategic Plans to build more focused and more precise plans for success.

If you’d like to hear more about Jim Collins’ concepts, and how they can be integrated into the Metronomics system. I can help you apply them to grow your business, contact me at

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