The Window and the Mirror

In “Good to Great,” Jim Collins refers to a window and a mirror when discussing “Level 5 Leadership.” The concept is simple to understand, but requires a lot of internal fortitude to practice consistently.

The Window:

What do you do when things go right? Do you take credit for the success or do you deflect the credit to your team and those around you who contributed to your success? The window, as described by Collins, is an analogy designed to remind you that when things go right, you should be looking out “the window” to see who you can praise for the success.

The Mirror:

Now what happens when things go wrong? Who gets the blame? You’re probably ahead of me with this one… the blame goes to the person you see in the mirror. Again, this is an easy concept to understand, but not to practice. What is your natural tendency when something bad happens? Is it to look around and find someone or some external circumstance to blame? According to Collins, “Level 5 Leaders” resist that common response and accept all of the blame.

If you’re like me, you like things boiled down to a simple phase to help you remember. So here it is:

Deflect praise, accept blame.

This is what I’m reading, thinking, and writing about. What do you think?

– Chris

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