Jim Collins

Forbes - - CON­TENTS -

con­sul­tant, au­thor: Good to Great and Built to last

Peter Drucker made the big­gest im­pact upon me in a per­sonal mo­ment when he hit me with a chal­lenge, like a Zen mas­ter thwack­ing the ta­ble with a bam­boo stick to get the at­ten­tion of a way­ward stu­dent. “It seems to me you spend a lot of time wor­ry­ing about how you will sur­vive,” he said in his res­o­nant Aus­trian ac­cent, re­fer­ring to my anx­i­ety in leav­ing my com­fort­able fac­ulty teach­ing post at Stan­ford to carve a self-di­rected in­tel­lec­tual path at age 36. “And you seem to spend a lot of en­ergy on the ques­tion on how to be suc­cess­ful. But that is the wrong ques­tion!” Then, paus­ing for ef­fect, “The ques­tion is, how to be use­ful.”

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