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Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness

Jimmy Collins with Michael Colley

Looking Glass Books
$23.95 hardcover
6 x 9
192 pages
S. Truett Cathy, foreword
August 1, 2013

A good story-teller, Jimmy Collins is well known for his common-sense style of communication. In Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness, Collins uses personal illustrations and stories to tell how he discovered and used his “Creative Followership Principles” for a successful and satisfying thirty-two-year career of service. Collins hopes to offer an inspiring message for men and women entering or redirecting their careers. He says, “My mission is to use my life experience to motivate others to venture out on a journey of discovery and adventure.”

Starting at the age of twelve, he delivered groceries on a bicycle for a neighborhood store. By the time he retired, he was the chief operating officer of a one-billion-dollar restaurant chain. A real success story! 

Creative Followership promises readers a better route to success and satisfaction than the over-emphasized pursuit of leadership roles. Collins begins Creative Followership with his unrealized search for a formula to become a leader. He reminds readers why leadership cannot be taught. He points out that only those who have followers are leaders, and that followers choose to follow a leader because of a unifying purpose that they can share. For example, Collins describes his absolute loyalty to Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, which he claims resulted in Truett’s unwavering support of him as Truett’s “Chief Follower.”

He also explains how he built his career using these Creative Followership Principles, which are easily transferable and usable for any individual in any organization. Jimmy’s own journey to becoming a business executive and receiving the recognition and reward that followed is living proof of the effectiveness of these principles. 


"To excel at leadership you must first master followership.  Any person aspiring to be an effective executive would do well to read Jimmy Collins’s book Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness." —S. Truett Cathy, CEO Chick-fil-A, Inc.
"Creative Followership reminded me how important leaders are … especially the ones I choose to follow, serve and promote.  Collins brings together his lifetime of service and leadership and condenses it to 35 principles – many of which I had learned the hard way.  His book is especially relevant to highly motivated and ambitious people who are on the way up the ladder.  I read the book with pen in hand making notes about how my family and others could benefit from his sage advice." —Tim Echols, Public Service Commissioner, State of Georgia
"This is a great read that is inspiring for anyone, but especially those just starting out in the business world.  Jimmy shares practical and wise principles he has learned from his personal journey as a follower of Jesus Christ in life and in business as president of Chick-fil-A.  I have read the book and really enjoyed the great personal stories and practical Godly wisdom he offers to others to learn and grow from." —Craig Kingston, Senior Minister, Southwest Christian Church
"Most creative book on leadership I’ve ever read.  Thanks for investing the time to 'pass it on.' " —Norman Witten, Chick-fil-A Franchisee, Hampton, VA
"Creative Followership, a book written by Jimmy Collins, former President of Chick-fil-A, is a collection of sound principles learned and practiced by the author during his life and career.  Now these simple principles and down to earth wisdom are shared in print and are available for all current and aspiring business leaders to emulate and put into practice on the road to a successful and fulfilling career. I highly recommend you take the time to read and learn from his example." —Ken Williams, V.P. Real Estate, Waffle House, Inc.
"I have had the blessing of working with the most respected names in Hollywood from President of Warner Bros. Distribution to actors such as Kirk Douglas. I recommend Jimmy Collins book to any person who is chosen or gifted to serve in such a position. You will learn to embrace the book, and it's wisdom!" —Rodney Stone, Executive Producer, Stone & Stone Media Productions