|Jim Collins: I mean, Darwin Smith at Kimberly Clark, was just kind of strange. He's idea of a good social event was to sit by himself on a tractor and move rocks from one end of the property to another. I mean, that was his idea of a good time. That was his idea of socializing, right? To move rocks about, and when asked about his style, he just simply said, "eccentric." He's not your sort of smooth guy and yet he was one of these great leaders.
But on the other hand, you have someone like Anne Mulcahy, of Xerox, who is somebody who I greatly admire, who was dealt a very difficult set of cards. Company in real difficult straights, may be going away, company with great historic track record. And Anne really brought Xerox back and she though, she is magnetic, she's social. I've seen her in front of hundreds and thousands of people having them like weeping and stomping and cheering and with a sense of goose bumps.
And you ask yourself, what is the awkward Darwin Smith riding around on his tractor, and Anne Mulcahy, who is this magnetic, wonderful person, who just makes you feel good when you walk into a room, what do they share in common, that makes them different?
It's not about them. And, that is really the difference.
Both of them care deeply about doing whatever it took to build or to rebuild something into a great stature that would go on beyond them. And that in the end, really stood for something.
Their extra little personality traits, really different. But, that inner drive and the steely determination -- same.
You meet Anne Mulcahy and she's a nice person, but boy, whatever difficult decisions need to be made to save Xerox, she would make them, and they were very painful. She said, "I don't ever want those decisions to become easy." It's not that they were easy, it's just they had to be done.
And when Darwin Smith sold the mills, hundreds of years of company history, it's not that is was easy, but as he said, "If you have a cancer in your arm, you have to have the guts to cut off your own arm." Right?
So the level five is someone, we don't want to sort of get caught up on the fact, that they are necessarily, self-effacing, necessarily shy, that they necessarily have a charisma by-pass. They may or may not have those external attributes, but it's the internal drive, it's not about them, they have the relentlessness to make very painful decisions.
And finally, the humility comes in the form of never feeling they've got all the answers worked out, and always feeling they're on the edge of potential catastrophe. And that helps keep their edge, that they are very aware of the brutal facts all the time.