Good to Great


Jim Collins

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Ken Iverson Character Analysis

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 to refine his company’s Hedgehog Concept. Nucor also became a notably egalitarian and worker-friendly company under Iverson.

Ken Iverson Quotes in Good to Great

The Good to Great quotes below are all either spoken by Ken Iverson or refer to Ken Iverson. 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 6  Quotes

Inequality still runs rampant in most business corporations. I’m referring now to the hierarchical inequality which legitimizes and institutionalizes the principle of “We” vs. “They.” … The people at the top of the corporate hierarchy grant themselves privilege after privilege, flaunt those privileges before the men and women who do the real work, then wonder why employees are unmoved by management’s invocations to cut costs and boost profitability … When I think of the millions of dollars spent by people at the top of the management hierarchy on efforts to motivate people who are continually put down by that hierarchy, I can only shake my head in wonder.

Related Characters: Ken Iverson (speaker), Jim Collins
Related Symbols: Hedgehog Concept
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ken Iverson Character Timeline in Good to Great

The timeline below shows where the character Ken Iverson appears in Good to Great. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4 
The Possibility of Transformation Theme Icon
The Importance of the Right People Theme Icon
Duality and Contradiction Theme Icon
...and dialogue, rather than coercion, to buy into one corporate mindset. Like Alan Wurtzel, CEO Ken Iverson of Nucor was known for fostering heated debate around every important company decision. Finally, Collins... (full context)
Chapter 6 
Focus and Consistency Theme Icon
...closely to the idea of managing its company without class distinctions and worker oppression. CEO Ken Iverson told Collins and his team that the company’s success relied on its ability to use... (full context)