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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

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Performance
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  •  
    PC 08-16-13
    PC 08-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Jeff Hayman 03-04-13
    Jeff Hayman 03-04-13

    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!

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    "Great book, Horrible narrator"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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)


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No characters portrayed.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Hire a professional reader/narrator


    Who do you think would benefit most from listening to How the Mighty Fall?

    Anyone interested in business


    Any additional comments?

    Jim Collins has written an excellent book (as with his others)....but he cannot narrate. Terrible overacting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brantley Canton, GA, United States 02-18-13
    Brantley Canton, GA, United States 02-18-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Another fantastic book by Jim Collins"
    Would you consider the audio edition of How the Mighty Fall to be better than the print version?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


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

    With many of his books, it's good to listen, reflect, then listen more.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabine St Petersburg, FL, United States 02-01-13
    Sabine St Petersburg, FL, United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Over Dramatized"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pete Dallas 12-10-12
    Pete Dallas 12-10-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Over Dramatic"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It's all down hill for Collins after Good to Great. There are some good points in the book that are useful when analyzing your business. I would recommend the written version. You can absorb the topics of the book in written form without the over dramatic narration that Collins delivers.


    What didn’t you like about Jim Collins’s performance?

    Too dramatic.
    Too slow.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ahmed Asal 12-02-12
    Ahmed Asal 12-02-12
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    "Excellent"

    Super historical analysis for different companies with a lot of learnings i think every one the business has to read it especially with these economics swings

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MSG Tucson, AZ 11-21-12
    MSG Tucson, AZ 11-21-12
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    "OK but not great"
    Would you try another book from Jim Collins and/or Jim Collins?

    Yes, it is similar to his other books, but a little light. It seamed like he wanted to make some more money of the research he had done on other books.


    What other book might you compare How the Mighty Fall to and why?

    His other two books are similar, Good to Great and Great by Choice.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I was not impressed with his narration at all. His voice seemed to get really loud like he was shouting at me at some times to stress a point to talking calmly at others. I find it distracting and a little annoying.


    Could you see How the Mighty Fall being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No, maybe a series of documentaries analyzing each of the companies he mentions that fell in greater detail. Maybe each would be half an hour.


    Any additional comments?

    I really like the analysis of the topics and companies, but having listened to his other books, I recognized similar stories, companies, lessons, and correlations that appeared to be repeated in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander T. McMahon Silicon Valley, CA 06-14-12
    Alexander T. McMahon Silicon Valley, CA 06-14-12 Member Since 2008

    Sandy McMahon

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    "Like attending one of Collins's classes"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a good analysis of the critical reasons that once great companies fall. Very rich analysis and analogies to demonstrate key points.


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

    There have been several comments panning the drama that Collins uses in his vocal presentation. I disagree. He speaks as though was making a passionate point in one of his classes. It's a performance!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    darryl MANCHESTER, MICHIGAN, United States 03-26-12
    darryl MANCHESTER, MICHIGAN, United States 03-26-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent Listen"
    If you could sum up How the Mighty Fall in three words, what would they be?

    I thought this book was excellent. It shows that even at the highest levels of performance and business that the basics of work ethic, logic, and following fundamental practices are paramount for sustained success.


    What other book might you compare How the Mighty Fall to and why?

    Great by Choice
    From Good to Great


    Have you listened to any of Jim Collins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is as good as the other Jim Collins audio books. I highly recommend it.


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

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Annandale, VA, United States 02-13-12
    Doug Annandale, VA, United States 02-13-12 Member Since 2006
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    "The Flip Side of Collins' Good to Great Research"

    I've read Jim Collins' other research books (Built to Last, Good to Great, Great by Choice), and finally listened to this one. The recommendations are backed by solid research, something that is not the case with many other business books.

    Collins reads this book himself. He's sometimes overly dramatic as a reader, but you can certainly tell which ideas he thinks are the most important.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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