Slideshow: 2012 ISPA Conference & Expo

A few more tenets from Collins' presentation:

• The only mistakes you learn from are the ones you survive.
• Is premium pricing a strategy or a core value? Don’t confuse low price with low costs. If you can’t control prices, you must control costs.
• The question is not good luck or bad, but what you do with the luck you have. Successful companies and leaders use their luck as defining moment; over-performing when good luck occurs, and using bad luck to make themselves better (if they survive).
• As leaders, are we responsible for our performances? Or do we attribute it to things we didn’t do, factors outside our control. Admundsen and Scott faced the same challenges, with vastly different results.

In conclusion, Collins left attendees with 11 questions to work on, one per month. He said, “I don’t promise they will make you great, I do promise they will make you better.”

1. Do we truly want to build a great enterprise, and are we willing to do what it takes?
2. Do we have the right people on the bus and in the key seats? Also, what are your key seats? Next year, ensure 95% of your seats are filled with the right people. Of the 10 most important decisions you’ll ever make, seven should be people-oriented.
3. What are the brutal facts?
4. What is our pep talk? What can we truly be the best (and un-replaceable) at, for which we have unbounded passion? When we get knocked down, a smaller and smaller percentage get up stronger. Those who do get back up have great passion; it was never just a business.
5. What is our 20-mile march?
6. Where should we place our big bets based on empirical creativity? True creativity begins at age 50; creative powers are always there, but after we mess up, a lot we know a lot more.
7. What do we need to change to be more consistent with our core values?
8. What is our 10-25-year BHAG? Preserve values, sustain progress.
9. What could kill us, and how can we protect ourselves from it? Can you manage to get to a point where you could manage to go a year without revenues?
10. Have both a "to-do" list and a "stop-doing" list. If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.
11. How can we increase our ROL (return-on-luck)? The greatest kind of luck is “who” rather than "when.” Getting a high return on luck is honoring relationships; pay back mentors by mentoring. Make yourself into "who” luck for a young leader.