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Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.
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Practical Discipline #3: Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.
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When you have disciplined people, you don't need hierarchy. When you have disciplined thought, you don't need bureaucracy. When you have disciplined action, you don't need excessive controls. When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great performance.
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Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't Hardcover – Unabridged, October 16, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 4,762 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Five years ago, Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider. 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. --Harry C. Edwards

From Publishers Weekly

In what Collins terms a prequel to the bestseller Built to Last he wrote with Jerry Porras, this worthwhile effort explores the way good organizations can be turned into ones that produce great, sustained results. To find the keys to greatness, Collins's 21-person research team (at his management research firm) read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. That Collins is able to distill the findings into a cogent, well-argued and instructive guide is a testament to his writing skills. After establishing a definition of a good-to-great transition that involves a 10-year fallow period followed by 15 years of increased profits, Collins's crew combed through every company that has made the Fortune 500 (approximately 1,400) and found 11 that met their criteria, including Walgreens, Kimberly Clark and Circuit City. At the heart of the findings about these companies' stellar successes is what Collins calls the Hedgehog Concept, a product or service that leads a company to outshine all worldwide competitors, that drives a company's economic engine and that a company is passionate about. While the companies that achieved greatness were all in different industries, each engaged in versions of Collins's strategies. While some of the overall findings are counterintuitive (e.g., the most effective leaders are humble and strong-willed rather than outgoing), many of Collins's perspectives on running a business are amazingly simple and commonsense. This is not to suggest, however, that executives at all levels wouldn't benefit from reading this book; after all, only 11 companies managed to figure out how to change their B grade to an A on their own.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0066620996
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperBusiness; 1st edition (October 16, 2001)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780066620992
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.12 x 1.05 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,762 ratings

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Salary Coach
5.0 out of 5 stars 9/10: Useful lessons to improve your business
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2017
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Amit Shrivastava
1.0 out of 5 stars The print quality is horrible as its printed in India
Reviewed in India on March 23, 2019
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Lewis Lawson
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly a disappointment. Extremely dry book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 15, 2021
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Jeff Duval
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 22, 2016
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Jonathan D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Prequel to the equally excellent 'Built to Last'
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2019
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