A book club for business people

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Pres Askew and Pete Bergmann could have tried to start a good book group.

Instead, they tried to start a great one.

The club is reading and discussing "Good to Great" by Jim Collins in an effort to understand how good businesses become great businesses.

The group has attracted more than 20 people -- enough that the club had to split into two groups.

The book looks at companies that made the transition from good to great and have maintained that standard. It also investigates why a company such as Kroger survived and thrived while A&P stores disappeared.

The group has attracted a wide variety of people -- they work in banks, medicine, law enforcement, insurance and public services.

But the book goes beyond just good business practices.

"The nice part about this book is the concepts are applicable to everyday life," Askew said.

One concept Askew said he's learned is the importance of having the right people "on the bus" and getting the wrong people "off the bus."

"It's more important getting quality people involved than deciding what to do," Askew said.

An extremely able leader was one thing all the companies had in common. The best leaders are ranked as level five leaders. "Good to Great" describes what makes a great leader.

Readers can strive to become great leaders in their own lives, Askew said.

"One piece I am trying to weave into the discussions is how it affects an individual personally," Bergmann said.

Many book clubs get together, and the members have something in common, Bergmann said. Many organizations including Moffat County School District, of which Berg-mann is superintendent, discuss how to go from good to great.

But this is one of the first local efforts Bergmann said that he knows about in which a group of people from the public and private sector have come together to discuss how to go from good to great.

The books' ideas are localizable anywhere, Askew said.

"If you're running a business in Craig and your employees aren't doing the job, replace them," he said.

For more information about the group, call Pres Askew at 826-4759.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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