I have begun to make reading a higher priority in my life.
If you sit down and think about it, reading is a gateway to all the knowledge in the world. A way to access and learn from countless years of difficulty and victory. All this, at the tips of your fingers.
In light of this, and my interest in business ventures— I began with Jim Collins’ Good to Great.
Although, technically speaking, the book is written as a guide for building or revitalizing a company from a good one to a great one (a company that beats the market by a significant amount for at least 15 years), I found it to speak profoundly on a wide range of topics that are directly applicable to my life even now as an undergraduate student.
There is one concept in particular from the book that struck me and has stayed with me since.
The Window and the Mirror Leadership Model.
A critical part of the suite of skills or tools that Jim Collins and his team identified in great leaders (for it takes a great leader, a “level 5 individual” to lead a company from good to great) is their ability to lead with the mirror and window model.
Simply put, when things go marvelously well, the executive (or anyone in practically any leadership role even in something as small as making plans with friends) looks outward, through “the window” at those around him in order to spread praise outward. If he cannot find people to praise, he praises good luck.
The other side of the coin, the mirror, is that when things begin to fall apart in a terrible way, the same person who looked outward now looks in the mirror and takes responsbility for the fault. This is done on a small scale quite often but rarely is it adopted as a personal trait. When it is, it cannot go unnoticed. It becomes quite clear in a good leader.
Overall, Good to Great is an incredible book that I highly recommend to anyone with a desire to learn more about disruptive leadership practices that will equip you with the self-awareness and tools you need to continue to become an incredible leader.