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Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't | [Jim Collins]

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

Built To Last, the defining management study of the 90s, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning. But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?
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Publisher's Summary

Built to Last, the defining management study of the '90s, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? Are there those that convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? If so, what are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

Over five years, Jim Collins and his research team have analyzed the histories of 28 companies, discovering why some companies make the leap and others don't. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leadership: A surprising style, required for greatness
  • The Hedgehog Concept: Finding your three circles, to transcend the curse of competence
  • A Culture of Discipline: The alchemy of great results
  • Technology Accelerators: How good-to-great companies think differently about technology
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Why those who do frequent restructuring fail to make the leap

©2001 Jim Collins (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Like Built to Last, Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come." (Amazon.com review)

"If you believe that a visionary leader with a strong ego is an essential component of sustained business success, then Jim Collins has a few thousand words for you. His carefully researched audiobook explains that the success of companies that outperform the market for 15 years in a row comes from selfless leadership, rigorous focus, and a culture of discipline....[T]here's another reason this book has burst through as a bestseller, which you can feel in Collins's narration: He is honestly excited about his research and unconventional findings. (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1986 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer TN 01-27-14
    Amazon Customer TN 01-27-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "On the fence - some good point - some bad ones"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Book acts the part in trying to teach rigorous leadership style, and I think some readers will over indulge to their demise. Book tries to wrap itself around success companies and then wrapping it's material around that to sell principles. Book lacks creditability on the principles.Disciplined people and companies are all around us...KPI's are everywhere. I know a major brand that has no discipline and they are growing and have been for decades. It's really the right strategy and flywheels that work, not always the points being sold in the book - at least to me. The Crocker example is a bad one, Well's is not the best of employers - what is Well's turn over rate!


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jim Collins? Why or why not?

    No.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Chapter one, I just skipped it completely. No learning. Too much over-indulging in interviews. Kind of like author was trying to be a Steve Covey and missed.


    Did Good to Great inspire you to do anything?

    Honestly, No.


    Any additional comments?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Gilbert, AZ, United States 01-16-14
    Amanda Gilbert, AZ, United States 01-16-14 Member Since 2013
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    "An unbiased look at the data"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Good to Great?

    I think what stuck out to me about Good to Great, was Jim Collin's unbiased review of the data. He willingly stepped away from his personal feelings about leadership, and opened up a great discussion on what makes a "level five"/Great leader.


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciate this information, especially after working under all types of leaders. It helps you discern from the qualities that appear to get some ahead in the game, from the ones that will actually benefit the company long-term. Jim recognizes in his findings that there are "great" leaders out there everywhere, there just simply isn't enough recognition in placing them in the right decisions. This is a great book for anyone in hiring, leadership, or aspiring to be a leader!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amelia LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, United States 01-03-14
    Amelia LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, United States 01-03-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Another Book..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I feel with all the readily available 'inspiration' online, there wasn't a ton of value here.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment in not choosing a better read.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kingsley Stafford, VA, United States 10-27-13
    Kingsley Stafford, VA, United States 10-27-13 Member Since 2013
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    "great book for business students and managers"
    What did you love best about Good to Great?

    clear easy to understand concepts


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    none really


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Right people on the bus and wrong people off the bus


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The People on the bus


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Bethel Park, PA, United States 10-24-13
    Nicholas Bethel Park, PA, United States 10-24-13 Member Since 2013
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    2
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    "Essential for anyone in business"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. No matter if you are an entrepreneur or an aspiring corporate executive, this book has great ideas that can apply in your business life.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    "First who, then what"


    Any additional comments?

    Must read. Despite its research-based background (which gives it much validity), Jim Collins narrates and brings the book to life, even when describing their research methodology.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sondra Ramona, CA 92065 10-09-13
    Sondra Ramona, CA 92065 10-09-13 Member Since 2011
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    27
    1
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    Story
    "Out of date and over rated.... you can do better"
    What would have made Good to Great better?

    Less ego


    What was most disappointing about Jim Collins’s story?

    The companies for the most part failed in time....


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reading was fine.... I got sucked in for a while


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Good to Great?

    All of the companies that failed in the 15-20 year period


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rafael Vila Horseshoe Bay, TX, US 06-29-13
    Rafael Vila Horseshoe Bay, TX, US 06-29-13

    Live a double life, in the morning and afternoon I am a very geek developer and entrepreneur, but at night I become a clown for my 3 kids :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Well Prepared Research, and Incredible Insights"
    What made the experience of listening to Good to Great the most enjoyable?

    Definitely Jim Collins has to be a great teacher, knowledgable in the field with a great research team. These audiobooks are the most incredible business book I ever listened to. All the stories and comparison are accurate, adding the amazing narrator of the book, Jim Collins, the author.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It is hard to say, this book is not about an specific character, is an insight about companies that went from being good to being great. Every story is an amazing experience.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Good to Great, there's never a final approach when you're aiming to greatness!


    Any additional comments?

    These set of audiobooks are the most essential business tool any entrepreneur most have. All the research is an amazing journey towards greatness. This is definitely the perfect complement to Think and Grow Rich from Napoleon Hill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte A. Hu San Antonio, TX, United States 04-16-13
    Charlotte A. Hu San Antonio, TX, United States 04-16-13 Member Since 2008

    USMC journalist, turned Embassy FSO, now USAF Web Chief

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    "Great Info; but Reader's Tone is Lecturing"

    I love David McCullough's narration because it feels like I'm just chatting with someone at a bar or near a camp fire. I love Jim Collins work and it breaks through a lot of previous stereotypes about "show horse" CEOs and the obsession with technological advances in business. I would have enjoyed listening to this more if he just talked like he was talking with his sibling over dinner.
    While the narration is a bit over-enunciated, it is clear and easy to follow. To be fair, Jim's profession isn't narration, it's research.
    I love the way this book brings out all kinda of characters and history I'd never known about great companies and how it weaves all those individual anecdotes in a greater theory about what makes great companies great. I read this book based on the recommendation from the author of Delivering Happiness because the Zappos CEO said this book was one of the most influential books he had read. I also love it because it really makes it seem like the data supports the idea that nice guys (level 5) and not arrogant asterisk types finish first. Good story, great message. I love it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morgan Harrell Berlin, Wisconsin United States 03-25-13
    Morgan Harrell Berlin, Wisconsin United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great Studies but a bit dry"
    If you could sum up Good to Great in three words, what would they be?

    Good but dry


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Good to Great?

    Probably that the discovery that compensation had no correlation between how great or not so great a company was.


    What aspect of Jim Collins’s performance would you have changed?

    A little bit more personality/excitement


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This was a book recommended to me so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I had just gotten done listening to the 10x Rule by Grant Cardone and was probably still on that adrenaline rush. I will have to listen to it again sometime.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine L. Herrera Austin, Texas 03-18-13
    Christine L. Herrera Austin, Texas 03-18-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great read (listen)"
    If you could sum up Good to Great in three words, what would they be?

    Overall satisfying & great story


    What other book might you compare Good to Great to and why?

    Would love to have a follow up in 10 years


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Last section


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    simple answers brought from the data


    Any additional comments?

    none

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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