Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins began to wonder: How do the mighty fall? Can decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course?
In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course. Great companies can stumble, badly, and recover. Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Anyone can fall and most eventually do.
But, as Collins' research emphasizes, some companies do indeed recover. Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. As long as we never get entirely knocked out of the game, hope always remains. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.
©2009 Jim Collins; (P)2009 Jim Collins
I thought the material in the book was adequate, but the narration just grated on me by the time the book was finished. I just do not believe a book on this topic needs a narrator providing a dramatic reading and sometimes literally yelling the words.
Some people might describe it as enthusiastic and emotional. I found it very distracting and unpleasant. Sometimes it is best if the author does not narrate the book. It is a business book, not a thriller.
Another great bit of research by Jim Collins and his team and very well presented using Jims' usual style of analogies and metaphors.
However, it is not up to the standards of Good to Great or Great by Choice. I've listened to his books in the wrong order and there is a deal of repetition from Good to Great and obviously Jim was deep into research data for Great by Choice when this was written.
Despite being the weakest book, it is still a great listen. You simply have to
love the work this guy does and his narration is full of energy and enthusiasm as usual.
Because of the repetition and this not being as good as his other books and the relatively steep price tag, I gave the story a 4 star rating instead of 5.
Overall this was a good book and great to listen to. Narration was great and story line examples were interesting. it passed the time but was nothing close to "Great by Choice" which was in my opinion a much greater book.
I'm a seasoned leader and strategist. I'm an expert in communication, sales and marketing, customer service and training.
I first read, then later listened to this book many years ago. This is a book that I have come back to several times, largely to find a paragraph to share with someone. There are times that I come back to re-read / litem to the book again to review where I see us being, and if there are danger signs on the horizon. A great read, from a wonderful author - a must for any leader!
I thought this was an excellent book on leadership and business strategy. As a business owner myself for almost 25 years, I have seen how a company can find themselves in the various stages of decline if they are not careful.
Even our company went through some precarious times as we went through an “expansion mode and business model change” right at the beginning of the recession in the mid-2000’s.
That was a time when financing was easy and banks we almost “giving” money away to almost anyone who asked. I got caught holding the bag as the personal guarantor on the business loans and then started taking the pro-active steps to right “the ship”, downsize, cut overhead and get back to focusing on what we do well. Just in the nick of time!
Collins’s book points out some straight-forward approaches and steps that business owners and leader can/should be aware of and take in order to keep their businesses running well and profitable/successfully.
Great book for all!
Long and tedious excuses on previous book. Not sure if extrapolating inferences from a handful number of examples should be considered a scientific or systematic approach. Should definitely have hired a professional narrator. Although I had long admiration for the author, his tone did not come across as enjoyable for audio books.
Tell us about yourself! I commute looooong distances each day and absolutely devour audiobooks. Audible has made the many hours in the car enjoyable! I really like their customer "reviews" (very helpful) and their no-questions-asked return policy - really, why do some great authors think they can also be great narrators?!. Can't wait for my next monthly credit to drop :) If you love audiobooks, then audible is for you!
Get a different narrator...with few exceptions, you know you're in trouble when the author decides to read his own book (Bill Bryson is a notable exception)
No characters portrayed.
Hire a professional reader/narrator
Anyone interested in business
Jim Collins has written an excellent book (as with his others)....but he cannot narrate. Terrible overacting.
Having not reviewed the print edition, I cannot comment. Having said that, Collins does a very nice job of describing details from the print edition, to orient the listener to the point or lesson he's trying to convey. As with his other audio books, he does a great job delivering the message.
I enjoyed his discussion of HP and their fall; unfortunately, their story is all too familiar - a company in search of a savior with no clear strategy to pursue.
With many of his books, it's good to listen, reflect, then listen more.
Another outstanding book; he puts this recession into some perspective and does well detailing the steps toward total and utter failure. The message from this book could be used to describe why government administrations falter, once great football teams become losers, and similar applications.
I forced myself to listen to the book because I was warned by previous readers. They were right - great content, but highly dramatized & it didn't need to be. Just read the book! It is is as if Jim Collins is giving a State of the Union Address, his words are THAT important! LOL.
Funny thing, I had never heard the word HUBRIS before (and hoped I never would again!) because it is SOOOO overused in this book; when I just looked it up to make sure I was spelling it correctly, the short definition of the word is "exaggerated pride or self-confidence." It occured to me that Jim Collins is quite hubristic in his reading! LOL. I was thrilled to be done with the book so I never have to hear him say the word again, then I started on the next book (not his) and the word popped up again! OH NOOO...but so far, it was used only once. :)
If you are a listener than can gleen the content from the drama, this is a fantastic book. It is amazing to learn from the failures of great companies. If you can't get past certain types of narration however, you better forget this one; buy the paperback...because the content is truly awesome.
I predict the next company to fall is WalMart. It is now led by a new CEO who is so very full of hubris and in his fake attempt to "go back to the roots" he is putting up far too many new WalMarts and he will overextend the company. I have yet to see any new WalMart around me filled with customers (even at Christmas!). He is making a huge mistake 1) by fighting everyone for the right to build on certain locations; and 2) putting them up so close together. It comes to mind that new Sam's Clubs are right in there as well.
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