Good to Great


Jim Collins

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David Maxwell Character Analysis

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 Collins’s most forceful example of the need to find the right people before deciding on a strategy.

David Maxwell Quotes in Good to Great

The Good to Great quotes below are all either spoken by David Maxwell or refer to David Maxwell. 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 3 Quotes

Maxwell made it absolutely clear that there would only be seats for A players who were going to put forth an A+ effort, and if you weren’t up for it, you had better get off the bus, and get off now. One executive who had just uprooted his life and career to join Fannie Mae came to Maxwell and said, “I listened to you very carefully, and I don’t want to do this.” He left and went back to where he came from. In all, fourteen of twenty-six executives left the company, replaced by some of the best, smartest, and hardest-working executives in the entire world of finance.

Related Characters: Jim Collins (speaker), David Maxwell
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
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Good to Great PDF

David Maxwell Character Timeline in Good to Great

The timeline below shows where the character David Maxwell appears in Good to Great. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
The Importance of the Right People Theme Icon ensuring that the company thrives after they are no longer its leader. For example, David Maxwell , the former CEO of Fannie Mae, requested that part of his retirement package be... (full context)