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Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.
Practical Discipline #3: Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.
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
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
- 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
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The companies this book glorifies...have virtually all FAILED spectacularly following their business models since publication.
Fannie Mae is praised constantly for gambling in the capital markets with Wallstreet...how did that work out in 2008?!
Walgreens gained market share as a "hedgehog"...then became a bloated celebrity-obsessed Leftist corporation and enabled THERANOS!
Wells Fargo abandoned the safe banking model after deregulation... "hedgehog"...then started robbing their customers, and engaging in massive fraud...then the executive class threw local managers under the bus and escaped with their parachutes..
Circuit city focused on quality delivery experience..."hedgehog"...then they sat there and rotted away and were obliterated by the internet.
The list goes on. Don't buy this book.
This book just ended up being a narrowly defined research project by academics that have probably never had more responsibility than thinking they are the smartest person in the room. This is in no way a managerial development book as it is often thought as, or recommended as. It was a complete waste of time, unless of course you are intrigued by these company's histories. But they are smart enough to get professors and executives to recommend it everywhere. I'll give them that.
Top reviews from other countries
This book is very concise and full of interesting case studies. It was one of the few occasions when I wished the book could have been a bit longer.
Well researched, well written, well done!
Here are some of the learnings I will be taking away from this book:
• All Good to great (“GTG”) companies had a Level 5 leader
• Level 5 leaders consistently exhibit humility, modesty and an ability to reign in their ego.
• Many companies are drawn towards outgoing egocentric leaders and this is often the wrong choice.
• Level 5 leaders are more interested in something larger and more lasting than their own career
• GTG leaders concentrate on hiring the right people before deciding on strategy
• Don’t compromise when hiring. If you’re not confident then keep looking
• When someone needs to leave the company act quickly
• Give your best people the best opportunities and not your biggest problems
• GTG management teams have rigorous debates and aren’t afraid to share their views. But when a decision is made they act as one
• GTG companies ensure information flows give management the right facts to manage the business effectively
• GTG companies foster a culture where employee’s views are heard and acted upon
• GTG companies review failures without negative consequences for the people involved
• Figuring out how to motivate people is a waste of time. If you hire the right people they will motivate themselves.
• Good to great companies did one thing exceptionally well and stuck to it (the hedgehog process)
• GTG companies developed their strategy from a deep understanding of what they could be world class at. This was not a goal or intention but an understanding of reality
• GTG companies typically focussed on one KPI e.g. profit per customer
• GTG companies were incredibly disciplined and did not waste time and money on unrelated activities and acquisitions
• GTG companies used technology as an accelerator of, not creator of, momentum
• Careful consideration should be given to whether a given technology fits with your hedgehog concept
• GTG companies often looked like an overnight success from the outside but in reality they were long in the making and a result of persistent action over a long period of time.
• Preserve core values and purpose while strategies and practices endlessly adapt with the changing world
A stunningly enlightening study of winners and losers
As Exec Chairman of a pan-European SME, the easy read of this book has refuelled my determination to (try and) get it right. Unfortunately, bad companies managed by Rambo like individuals remain the norm on this side of the pond... Still very refreshing read about what works and what doesn't...
Inspired me to push that bit harder and use more guile in my business instead of just plain hard work. Then the guile helped turn the hard work into results.
Glad I read it.