James C. Collins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named James Collins, see James Collins (disambiguation).
James C. Collins
Born (1958-01-25) January 25, 1958 (age 57)[1]
Boulder, Colorado
Occupation Management consultant and writer
Spouse(s) Joanne Ernst

James C. "Jim" Collins, III (born 1958) is an American business consultant, author, and lecturer on the subject of company sustainability and growth.[2][3]


Collins studied Mathematics at Stanford University, and afterwards obtained his MBA followed by 18 months as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. He then worked as a product manager for Hewlett-Packard.

Collins began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he now conducts research and teaches executives from the corporate and social sectors. During that time, Collins has served as a senior executive at CNN International, and also worked with social sector organizations, such as: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Leadership Network of Churches, the American Association of K-12 School Superintendents, and the United States Marine Corps.

Collins is married to former triathlete and 1985 Ironman winner, Joanne Ernst.[4][5]



Collins has authored or co-authored five books based on his research, including the classic Built to Last, a fixture on the Business Week best-seller list for more than six years, and has been translated into 25 languages. The most recent book is How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In. Good to Great, his previous book, is "about the factors common to those few companies ... to sustain remarkable success for a substantial period," attained long-running positions on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week best-seller lists, sold 2.5 million hardcover copies since publication, and has been translated into 32 languages.

Collins frequently contributes to Harvard Business Review, Business Week, Fortune and other magazines, journals, etc. He is also the author of several books: Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In and Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck - Why Some Thrive Despite Them All.

Level 5 leader[edit]

Collins often discusses a "Level 5 leader" in his writings. This refers to the peak of a five-tier hierarchy of leadership characteristics presented in the books. A Level 5 Leader is someone who embodies a “paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will.”

Test Pilot[edit]

Collins re-published an autobiography called Test Pilot (Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1935), written by his grandfather Jimmy Collins, after whom Collins is named. Jimmy Collins was the chief test pilot for the Grumman military aircraft company during the 1930s, and Clark Gable portrayed him in the movie version of his book. Jimmy Collins died in a crash while testing the F3 biplane, having predicted and described his death before it.




  1. ^ Catalyst Together, DVD #1 of Catalyst Conference, 2008
  2. ^ Aron Cramer, Zachary Karabell (2010) Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World. : This books states that "... strategists like Jim Collins, in his seminal book Good to Great, have noted the importance ofa corporate mission, sustainability provides a specific and urgent purpose that is redefining business." (p. 7)
  3. ^ Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaya, Iwan Setiawan (2010) Marketing 3.0: From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit. p. 115
  4. ^ Adam Bryant (May 23, 2009). "For This Guru, No Question Is Too Big". New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  5. ^ About his wife, he once stated, “We’ve been married 20 years and we have 50–50 ownership ... but she holds all the voting shares.” Source: Strategy & Business. (2001) Nr 22-25. p. 49
  6. ^ "Good to great to gone", The Economist, July 7, 2009

External links[edit]