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How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In | [Jim Collins]

How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In

Decline can be avoided. Decline can be detected. Decline can be reversed. 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?
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Publisher's Summary

Decline can be avoided. Decline can be detected. Decline can be reversed.

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 06-26-09
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 06-26-09 Member Since 2010
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    "strong entertainment value"

    Collins is a smart guy, no doubt about it. What makes this book stand out is Collins' high energy narration, as if he is on stage in front of you. As to how the mighty fall, there's nothing new, beyond the common pitfalls we regularly see. If you have never read a management book, this one is as good as any other. If you have some experience in corporate America, there's little for you here.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Bartness 01-31-10
    B. Bartness 01-31-10 Member Since 2007
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    "I Disliked The Narration"

    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.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Kilday 07-04-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Great book"

    Great business lessons as always from Collins. We can all use their insight in our role as leaders.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roland 06-21-15
    Roland 06-21-15
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    "Not a Great by Choice"

    After "Good to Great", "Built to Last", and "Great by Choice" I had some high standards. Those books were worth reading and packed full of research. First, I don't know if "How the Mighty Fall" has stood the test of time in its conclusions. Second, this book seemed like something thrown together in a weekend. I wish I hadn't wasted my time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GORDON 04-26-15
    GORDON 04-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Another classic from Collins"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LizzToon 02-09-15
    LizzToon 02-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Good info"

    A book for class in my masters program. It was a quick listen with lots of good information and well illustrated examples.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    yaniv 01-25-15
    yaniv 01-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "overall pretty good but not his best"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth Chancy Sandnes, Norway 02-02-14
    Seth Chancy Sandnes, Norway 02-02-14 Listener Since 2005

    I'm a seasoned leader and strategist. I'm an expert in communication, sales and marketing, customer service and training.

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    "Are you on the edge?"
    Would you listen to How the Mighty Fall again? Why?

    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!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 09-17-13
    James 09-17-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Jim Collins Does It Again!!!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PC 08-16-13
    PC 08-16-13
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    "So how should they re-bounce?"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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