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Publisher's Summary

The new question: Ten years after the worldwide best seller Good to Great, Jim Collins returns to ask: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? In Great by Choice, Collins and his colleague, Morten T. Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times.

The new study: Great by Choice distinguishes itself from Collins’s prior work by its focus on the type of unstable environments faced by leaders today.

The new findings:

  • The best leaders were more disciplined, more empirical, and more paranoid.
  • Following the belief that leading in a “fast world” always requires “fast decisions” and “fast action” is a good way to get killed.
  • The great companies changed less in reaction to a radically changing world than the comparison companies.

This book is classic Collins: contrarian, data-driven, and uplifting. He and Hansen show convincingly that, even in a chaotic and uncertain world, greatness happens by choice, not by chance.

©2011 Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Kevin
  • Ossining, NY, United States
  • 04-01-12

Read by Choice

Would you consider the audio edition of Great by Choice to be better than the print version?

By narrating his own material, Jim Collins adds an extra passion that can only from the author. If you liked 'Good to Great' -- this is a must listen to follow up that you will be thrilled to have experienced.

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Solid work

Well researched, and presented in a convincing narrative, Great by choice shows how smart decision making rather than luck and market condition determine business success.

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  • Diane
  • ANN ARBOR, MI, United States
  • 03-01-12

Great, Interesting Read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The story was engaging and interesting. I can't think of a Jim Collins book that would bore, but take that from an engineer with a keen interest in people. It isn't always easy listening to statistics.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Great by Choice?

The story about the race to the pole was fascinating.

Which scene was your favorite?

The book is more of a

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

Not exactly.

Any additional comments?

The book is good, very business-oriented and focuses on some common-sense ways to be successful. It's not going to blow you away with revelations, but it will probably inspire you.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Success is Not Just Luck

Jim Collins gave us Good to Great and Built to Last. In Great by Choice he has joined with Morten Hansen to inform readers about how successful business firms perform under conditions of uncertainty and chaos. They formed a research team to determine what successful firms do in uncertain times to out perform their industry. They then report the characteristics of firms that outperformed their industries by ten times labeling those firms 10Xers. In a chapter titled 20 Mile March, they use the march metaphor to explain how 10Xers create a plan and pace themselves to completion. In Leading above the Death Line, they describe how the management of those firms maintains a “productive paranoia” which is their saving grace. My favorite chapter dealt with ROL or return on luck as they say. Were the 10Xers just at the right place at the right or were the non-10Xers just at the wrong place at the right time? The book isn’t hard to read. You don’t have to be a finance or operations wiz to understand what is detailed in this good book. If you benefited from Good to Great or Built to Last you will not be disappointed with Great by Choice. If you missed the earlier works, don’t miss this one. Narration of Jim Collins is excellent.

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  • Denis
  • Torrance, CA, United States
  • 02-28-12

Interesting, but dry and over-analytical

The content of this book is quite interesting, but also overly analytical. And not in a good way like “the detail is amazing!”, but more like “for dinner you are having: 230g of carbs, 30g of fat, and 210g of protein”, without telling you what you are actually eating. But the biggest complain is that this book is narrated by Jim Collins himself, and he sounds like angry humorless school teacher.

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  • BJ
  • Texas, United States
  • 02-21-12

Collins is GREAT

I'm a pastor and the books that Collins has written are excellent and applicable in all areas of life. They unveil some deep truths and are profound. Another great book by Collins.

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  • Josh
  • Alexandria, MN, United States
  • 02-07-12

Choose to become Great NOW!

Continuing in his great tradition, Jim Collins adds to the already fantastic works of "Good to Great," "Built to Last," and "How the Mighty Fall," with "Great by Choice." This book is aimed at the entrepreneur who has a dream of building a great company, one that will outlive the founder and become a pinnacle of the economy. Collins does a tremendous job of pointing out how great companies make specific choices at the beginning of their creation to become great and never wavered from those decisions.

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  • Peter
  • Palm Springs, CA, United States
  • 02-06-12

Another winner by Collins

Nicely narrated by the author, this is another enlightening effort by one of the best in the business. The analogies are perfect and memorable ( I even used one in an innocent discussion with my wife the other day.) This is not a rehash of old stuff, but new and fesh material. Those who appreciated Good to Great and Built to Last will also like this one.

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  • Kenneth
  • Pittsbrgh, PA, United States
  • 02-06-12

Every bit as good at Good to Great

Where does Great by Choice rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Like Good to Great - this is one of my favorite.

What did you like best about this story?

The key findings compliment the GTG findings and provide some new perspective.

What about Jim Collins’s performance did you like?

I love that it is research based.

Any additional comments?

Collins does a great job in reading his books. Very compelling listen.

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  • Bert
  • Centurion, South Africa
  • 02-02-12

Great book!

Would you listen to Great by Choice again? Why?

Yes, it would be great to review some of the points again, really useful stuff in here.

What other book might you compare Great by Choice to and why?

Good to greeat, same author, more great ideas and research