Good to Great

by

Jim Collins

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Darwin E. Smith Character Analysis

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 bold leadership moves, most notably in selling all of his company’s paper mills. He also received little attention from the business media, another common characteristic of Level 5 Leaders.

Darwin E. Smith Quotes in Good to Great

The Good to Great quotes below are all either spoken by Darwin E. Smith or refer to Darwin E. Smith. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Possibility of Transformation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Collins edition of Good to Great published in 2011.
Chapter 2  Quotes

The business media called the move stupid and Wall Street analysts downgraded the stock. Smith never wavered. Twenty-five years later, Kimberly-Clark owned Scott Paper outright and beat Procter & Gamble in six of eight product categories. In retirement, Smith reflected on his exceptional performance, saying simply, “I never stopped trying to become qualified for the job.”

Related Characters: Jim Collins (speaker), Darwin E. Smith
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
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Darwin E. Smith Character Timeline in Good to Great

The timeline below shows where the character Darwin E. Smith appears in Good to Great. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
The Possibility of Transformation Theme Icon
The Importance of the Right People Theme Icon
Duality and Contradiction Theme Icon
Collins opens with an anecdote about Darwin E. Smith, a former CEO of the paper company Kimberly-Clark. Despite being mild-mannered and lacking experience, Smith... (full context)
The Importance of the Right People Theme Icon
Duality and Contradiction Theme Icon
Collins characterizes Smith as an example of a Level 5 Leader. Level 5 Leaders “blend extreme personal humility... (full context)
Chapter 4 
The Possibility of Transformation Theme Icon
Duality and Contradiction Theme Icon
...when the outlook was bleak. Collins gives the example of Kimberly-Clark and its CEO Darwin Smith, who used the idea of competing against Proctor & Gamble, a powerful rival, as a... (full context)