Good to Great


Jim Collins

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Good to Great Characters

Jim Collins

Jim Collins is the book’s author, as well as its first-person narrator. He led the research team that developed and carried out the book’s central study on the patterns potentially driving the success of good-to-greatread analysis of Jim Collins

Jim Stockdale

Jim Stockdale served as an Admiral in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. He spent eight years imprisoned in a notorious prisoner-of-war camp, during which time he bravely led his troops in withstanding torture… read analysis of Jim Stockdale

Darwin E. Smith

Darwin E. Smith was the CEO of paper company Kimberly-Clark during its good-to-great transformation. Collins uses Smith as an example of a quintessential Level 5 Leader; he is humble and modest while also making… read analysis of Darwin E. Smith

Colman Mockler

Another quintessential Level 5 Leader, Colman Mockler was the CEO of Gillette during its good-to-great transformation. He was known for prioritizing his company’s success over his own financial gain and for placing trust in… read analysis of Colman Mockler

Alan Wurtzel

Alan Wurtzel was a Level 5 Leader who took Circuit City through its good-to-great transformation. Collins particularly emphasizes that Wurtzel viewed his company’s successes as luck while also taking full responsibility for its setbacks. This… read analysis of Alan Wurtzel
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Ken Iverson

Ken Iverson was another Level 5 Leader and the CEO of Nucor during its transition from good to great. He was known for being especially modest and humble and for leading debates in order… read analysis of Ken Iverson

David Maxwell

David Maxwell was the Level 5 Leader who led Fannie Mae through its period of good-to-great transformation. Maxwell’s decision to focus on hiring decisions even as his company lost enormous amounts of money daily is… read analysis of David Maxwell

Lee Iacocca

Lee Iacocca is the book’s primary example of a leader of an unsustained comparison company who, notably, did not show traits of a Level 5 Leader. Iacocca led Chrysler through a period of remarkable… read analysis of Lee Iacocca
Minor Characters
Cork Walgreen
Charles “Cork” Walgreen was another Level 5 Leader, who led his family company Walgreens into an era of greatness. Collins focuses especially on Walgreen’s skill in selecting the right people for his leadership teams, and on his savvy decision to focus on a clear, precise Hedgehog Concept.