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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

4.4 (3278 )
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4.3 (2373 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Registered Amazon User 12-29-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "Practical Powerful"

    Loved the practical nature of narrative. Going to listen to it a couple of more times for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 12-24-14
    John 12-24-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
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    Story
    "Great book. Horrible narration."
    What didn’t you like about Jim Collins’s performance?

    Might be the worst narration I've ever heard. Great book but I couldn't wait to be done so I didn't have to listen to him anymore. It's a shame, I would like to get his other books but I'm never listening to him again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 10-01-14
    James 10-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Very light on content"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A professional narrator could have improved the experience, but the content itself is quite weak


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something more substantial


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jim Collins’s performances?

    No, his narration was really distracting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    everett andrews 08-16-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Evidence based"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Good to Great to be better than the print version?

    I reference both frequently


    What about Jim Collins’s performance did you like?

    voice


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The identification of humility as a quality of great leaders was life changing for me. Starting a new journey for me to find grace in my life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne Carlsbad, CA, United States 03-27-14
    Joanne Carlsbad, CA, United States 03-27-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You'll rethink everything you do in business"
    Would you listen to Good to Great again? Why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jazz diamond bar, CA, United States 03-23-14
    Jazz diamond bar, CA, United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Draws Broad Conclusions from Flawed Research"
    Would you try another book from Jim Collins and/or Jim Collins?

    No


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Lust for Life


    How could the performance have been better?

    It was pretty bland, though the book was so bad, I don't see a way of making it better.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TN 01-27-14
    Amazon Customer TN 01-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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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 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "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

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