"I saw that those who were really effective made use of not just a "to-do" list but a "stop-doing" list. "
-- Jim Collins, management guru and best-selling author, in an interview with Time regarding his recently published fourth book, How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In. Doing research for the book, Collins says he found that people who are successful in today's world are clear about what they are not going to do. He follows this advice himself, setting aside part of his day where he turns off his cell phone and does not get on the Internet. "I also leave white space on my calendar, roughly three days every two weeks. Nothing can be scheduled during white-space time," he says. "I try to create bubbles of tranquil time for hard thinking." Most of us could use more white space and bubbles -- it's up to us to create them. --Jessica Shambora
by Jessica Shambora
For Fortune's Most Admired Companies issue, released this week, I interviewed the CEOs of two top performers: Bill Weldon at Johnson & Johnson (No. 5 on the list) and Jim Skinner at McDonald's (No. 16). Fortune ranks companies based on survey results from more than 4,000 executives, directors and securities analysts.
My interviews with these chiefs covered a range of topics, from cosmetic surgery to the Dollar Menu. But MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Mar 5, 2009 3:02 PM ET
Every manager is supposed be doing that these days. You know, there's a lot more risk in reinvention than just the uncertainty of your fancy new business model. In your rush to reinvent, you could well leave your core values behind.
I've been contemplating this lately for several reasons. For one, I'm sold on the wisdom of Jim Collins, the management guru who was part of a recent Fortune cover package MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 23, 2009 2:38 PM ET
"You have to say that we will be in this for a long time and we will turn this into a defining event, a big catalyst to make ourselves a much stronger enterprise. Our characters are being forged in a burning, searing crucible."
– Jim Collins, management guru and author of Built to Last and Good to Great, in a Q&A with Fortune's Jennifer Reingold. The crucible Collins refers to got MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Feb 19, 2009 7:45 PM ET
"The more challenged you are, the more you have to have your values."
-- Jim Collins, management guru and author of Built to Last and Good to Great, in a Q&A in the current issue of Fortune. As he notes, companies like Procter & Gamble (PG), General Electric (GE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and IBM (IBM) have an incredible fabric of values--underlying ideals that explain why the companies exist. Even more MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Jan 22, 2009 6:25 PM ET
'Tis the season for confessions. First comes denial -- every mortal's classic response in a crisis. But in times like these, any leader worth his or her lofty position and pay recognizes mistakes soon enough. True confession is the mark of a confident leader. So, what's your biggest mistake?
In the past week alone, we've noticed a positive trend: leaders fessing up. "GM has made mistakes in the past," General Motors MOREPatricia Sellers - Dec 8, 2008 2:11 PM ET
"A crisis is a terrible thing to waste." Have you heard that line lately? Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama's new chief of staff, recently used it. So did Merck (MRK) CEO Dick Clark, noted management guru Jim Collins, who used the line as the centerpiece of a talk at the Fortune 500 Forum in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
Collins delivered a mega-dose of passion and pragmatic ideas, starting with the message that "good MOREPatricia Sellers - Dec 2, 2008 11:34 AM ET
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