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:
©2001 Jim Collins (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers
"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)
This book helped me shape my perspective on everything from staffing to core business strategy. Moreover, it found a relatively entertaining way of doing it.
Lust for Life
It was pretty bland, though the book was so bad, I don't see a way of making it better.
I was frustrated by the ridiculous conclusions the author came up with based on highly flawed research, which itself was based on shaky premises. The idea that you can measure a company's "greatness" by its stock price set the stage for a highly disappointing book. I think the author actually set out to prove the hypothesis that a "level 5 leader" could turn a good company into a great company. Therefore, the so called research was designed to demonstrate this.
The research methods used were incredibly flawed and some of the conclusions the author drew were truly baffling. There were many inconsistencies, such as when he lauded one company for breaking away from its core business ("selling the mills"), then later criticizing another for doing essentially the same thing. He also annoyed me every time he referred to the "hedgehog concept." It was pretty obvious that the author wanted to coin a phrase, based on a story he told, because he repeated the phrase over and over, even though he applied it inconsistently. Anyway, the proof is in the pudding since some of the companies he held up as great (Circuit City, Wells Fargo, Fannie May), actually became epic fails or would have if the government didn't bail them out. The author tried to cover himself by saying that his conclusions were based on the condition of the companies' stock prices during particular periods of time. What a cop out! During the time periods, he surveyed these companies, the seeds for their failure were already being sown. Anyway, I could go on and on. Do yourself a favor and don't bother with this book.
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!
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.
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.
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!
I feel with all the readily available 'inspiration' online, there wasn't a ton of value here.
Disappointment in not choosing a better read.
clear easy to understand concepts
Right people on the bus and wrong people off the bus
The People on the bus
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.
"First who, then what"
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.
The companies for the most part failed in time....
The reading was fine.... I got sucked in for a while
All of the companies that failed in the 15-20 year period
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 :)
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.
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.
Good to Great, there's never a final approach when you're aiming to greatness!
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.
Former Marine 4321, former State Department public diplomacy officer. Current USAF Public Affairs Specialist
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!
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