51 Inspirational Jim Collins Quotes [2024] Famous American Author

Updated: January 20th, 2022

Jim Collins is an American researcher, speaker, consultant, and established author.

He published his first best-seller book "Built To Last" in 1994. Collins founded a management laboratory, where he conducts research and teaches executives from the corporate and social sectors.

Jim Collins published his first book, Beyond Entrepreneurship: Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company in 1992.

We've put together an incredible collection of Jim Collins quotes to read.

Here they are:

51 Inspirational Jim Collins Quotes [2024] Famous American Author

List of Inspiring Jim Collins Quotes

“A visionary company doesn’t simply balance between idealism and profitability: it seeks to be highly idealistic and highly profitable.” — James C. Collins

“Discipline is consistency of action.” — James C. Collins

“You need self-control in an out-of-control world.” — James C. Collins

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” — James C. Collins

“Good is the enemy of great.” — James C. Collins

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” — James C. Collins

“Good is the enemy of great. That’s why so few things become great.” — James C. Collins

“Get the right people on the bus and in the right seat.” — James C. Collins

“You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” — James C. Collins

“Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.” — James C. Collins

“Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions.” — James C. Collins

“A culture of discipline is not a principle of business, it is a principle of greatness.” — James C. Collins

“How can we do better tomorrow than we did today?” — James C. Collins

“People need BHAGs – big hairy audacious goals.” — James C. Collins

“Level 5 leaders are a study in duality: modest and willful, humble and fearless.” — James C. Collins

“If you have more than three priorities then you don’t have any.” — James C. Collins

“For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.” — James C. Collins

“The signature of mediocrity is chronic inconstancy. The signature of greatness is a disciplined and consistent focus on the right things.” — James C. Collins

“The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake. The best people don’t need to be managed. Guided, taught, led-yes. But not tightly managed.” — James C. Collins

“The difference between a good leader and a great leader is humility.” — James C. Collins

“The signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change. The signature of mediocrity is inconsistency.” — James C. Collins

“You can’t manufacture passion or “motivate” people to feel passionate. You can only discover what ignites your passion and the passions of those around you.” — James C. Collins

“Greatest danger is not failure, but be successful and not know why.” — James C. Collins

“The x factor of a great leader is humility combined with will.” — James C. Collins

“We are not imprisoned by circumstances, setbacks, mistakes or staggering defeats, we are freed by our choices.” — James C. Collins

“The essence of profound insight is simplicity.” — James C. Collins

“Whether you prevail or fail depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you.” — James C. Collins

“Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.” — James C. Collins

“Start a ‘Stop Doing’ list. I’ll leave it as an existential dilemma on whether to put that task on your To Do list.” — James C. Collins

“Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It’s not that Level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious-but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.” — James C. Collins

“By definition, it is not possible to everyone to be above the average.” — James C. Collins

“Dreams make you click, juice you, turn you on, excite the living daylights out of you. You cannot wait to get out of bed to continue pursuing your dream. The kind of dream I’m talking about gives meaning to your life. it is the ultimate motivator.” — James C. Collins

“Comparison, a great teacher once told me, is the cardinal sin of modern life. It traps us in a game that we can’t win. Once we define ourselves in terms of others, we lose the freedom to shape our own lives.” — James C. Collins

“How can you succeed by helping others succeed? We succeed at our very best only when we help others succeed.” — James C. Collins

“I am not failing – I am growing! Do you have the ability to reframe failure as growth in order to achieve your goals?” — James C. Collins

“That good is the enemy of great is not just a business problem. It is a human problem.” — James C. Collins

“Profit is like oxygen, food, water, and blood for the body; they are not the point of life, but without them, there is no life.” — James C. Collins

“Not one of the good-to-great companies focused obsessively on growth.” — James C. Collins

“Good-to-great companies set their goals and strategies based on understanding; comparison companies set their goals and strategies based on bravado.” — James C. Collins

“It is more important to know who you are than where you are going, for where you are going will change as the world around you changes.” — James C. Collins

“In determing “the right people,” the good-to-great companies placed greater weight on character attributes than on specific educational background, practical skills, specialized knowledge, or work experience.” — James C. Collins

“A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.” — James C. Collins

“In a world of constant change, the fundamentals are more important than ever.” — James C. Collins

“The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline.” — James C. Collins

“Great companies foster a productive tension between continuity and change.” — James C. Collins

“In a truly great company profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body: They are absolutely essential for life but they are not the very point of life.” — James C. Collins

“There is a sense of exhilaration that comes from facing head-on the hard truths and saying, “We will never give up. We will never capitulate. It might take a long time, but we will find a way to prevail.”” — James C. Collins

“Focusing solely on what you can potentially do better than any other organization is the only path to greatness.” — James C. Collins

“Change your practices without abandoning your core values.” — James C. Collins

“Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.” — James C. Collins

“Managing your problems can only make you good, whereas building your opportunities is the only way to become great.” — James C. Collins

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Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.