Thomas Walter had the same reaction as many leaders have had upon encountering Jim Collins’s seminal Good to Great for the first time. First came the surge of enthusiasm. Then the question: How can my business be more like these?
In 2005, Walter, who is CEO of Tasty Catering, a $5.3 million company in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, bought copies of Collins’s book for the whole staff, about 50 employees. Everyone completed the work sheets for identifying core values, hedgehog concepts (the activity that, if done steadily and well, will produce success), and big hairy audacious goals. Collins, famously, also talks about getting the right people on the bus. The Tasty Catering bus was already filled with the right people; many employees had worked at the company since high school. Walter decided it was time to let his workers drive.
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