Metaphor Alert

Scaling Cliffs with Jim Collins

You may trust Jim Collins’ business advice—but how about his guidance for climbing 1000-foot rocks? Fortune writer Kevin Maney gave it a try in the name of profiling Collins, the author of books like How the Mighty Fall. “I see climbing metaphors almost everywhere,” Collins said, pointing to the financial collapse—which is perhaps more of a falling metaphor than a climbing one. Collins’ mountaineering, Maney writes, makes Collins the financial consultant he is, teaching him lessons on risk-taking, challenges, and ascension. Maybe that’s the secret to his success? Not like we ever saw Bernie Madoff wrangling any sheer rock faces, unless you count the cement walls of his prison cell.