Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

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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

The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
  • The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
  • A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

    “Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

    Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

  • Customer Reviews:

    • Good to Great
      This is one of the best books on business ever written. Very easy to read and even easier to put into action....more info
    • But two of these "great" companies are Fannie Mae and Circuit City?
      One is now bankrupt and the other had to be "rescued" by a government bailout. Makes me question whether they really are (were?) "great". ...more info
    • Challenge to be Passionate
      Working in Church leadership, I found Mr. Miller and team's work challenging and appealing. What seems obvious in being great is actually the antithesis of 'conistent greatness'. I would recommend this book for any organization. A+ for those of us in ministry!...more info
    • Still an excellent and very useful book
      I find the message of this 8 year old book still very unique and useful. The creative and rigorous research design produced powerful and lasting results. Should be read by all, middle and upper managers. ...more info
    • Good for Business and Leadership
      Well researched. I enjoyed this book very much. I feel it is a must read. Mr. Collin's ideas on "Optimal Thinking" are very interesting. This book spurned so much creativity from within me. I was really able to upgrade in capitalizing on my strengths. Very motivating and entertaining....more info
    • Good to Great
      The condition of this book was excellent. I recieved it in a very timely manner. If you currently own or are looking to own your own business, this book is invaluable. The concepts are concrete, realistic, and attainable. I highly recommend this book....more info
    • Collins Review
      Extremely well written. The valuable information from Collin's Good to Great is useful not only in a business but also in one's personal life. A must buy!...more info
    • Interesting stories to support interesting research results
      An interesting book for business people, managers, and org theory scholars. Not for everyone in my opinion. It is the result of many years of a research team trying to find the answer to the question: how to pull a business operating on a stagnating market out of a down-spiraling profit rut and sustain that success over a long period of time? One of the answers is Level 5 Leadership: Leaders who are persistent and humble: like an empowering Buddhist workhorse. I bought myself and my 4-year-old daughter stuffed pink hedgehogs to remind me of the hedgehog principle so I can remember to stay with mine in my personal life....more info
    • A New Way to Look at Growing Your Business
      "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins was a real eye opener for me.

      In this book, Jim Collins, observes 28 companies over the span of 5 years. Over this period of time 11 of the companies make the leap from "Good to Great". The findings in this book were truly eye opening and inspirational. I loved the chapter on Level 5 leadership. Collins starts the chapter using a quote by Harry S. Truman "You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit". This is the essence of the book.

      I also loved that in this book he speaks about how the executives that ignited the transformation for companies that went from good to great, did not figure out how to drive the bus, but how to get the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off) and then they figured out where to drive it.

      Another book I really enjoyed reading about transformation is Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment. Any person who is looking to grow their business would greatly benefit from reading both these books.

      ...more info
    • Practical reading for any owner or employee in business today
      I constantly go back and refer to this book when I need some practical advice. Jim is one of the established business leadership writers today. ...more info
    • Great Advice - A Must-Read for Business Leaders

      Jim Collins and his team of researchers chose the only 11 companies who went from good to great - NOT companies that have always been great or that have been great for only a short period of time. After extensive debate about what these 11 companies have in common, Collins and his team conclude that:
      ALL of these companies' leaders are uncharismatic and humble.
      The leaders of these companies take on the right people and get rid of the wrong people before they take the right action.

      The ideas continue to make sense but are contrary to what we've been taught: that big egos with great ideas make great companies.

      What's most interesting is that while the ideas that came out of this research make sense, only 11 companies - all strategically chosen - made the cut.

      What does this book teach us? That there's a fairly straightforward recipe that Boards of Directors and CEOs do have the power to create. Very few companies have followed this model, but those that have have become their industry leaders over time.

      Businesses are lucky to have this research accessible. The results are straightforward, to the point, and well written
      ...more info
    • From Great to Bankrupt
      After reading this book I feel like it important to address why some people give it 1 out of five stars. I do not think Jim Collins meant to invent any new and crazy ideas with this book rather than shedding light on what we already know but somehow forget to implement in our daily business lives. I find it fascinating that Circuit City and Fannie Mae were once great companies and believe that their failure only strengthens Jim Collin's thesis. Just because a business was great last year doesn't mean it will continue to be great. Great business practices require constant attention and I feel that this book's principles makes it clear why those businesses failed in the end even though at the time of publication they were at the top of their game. All in all, I think the book is well written, a quick read, slightly overpriced, and completely worth your time. Go to the library, pick it up, read it over a week or weekend, and put all the concepts in the back of your head because the worst thing that can happen to you is a paper cut when you turn one of the pages....more info
    • surprising and digestible for anyone who can read english
      This book is the product of a lot of work in terms of time and debate about values.
      Reassuringly it provides emphatic powerful evidence of the values of:
      . honesty
      . decent human behaviour
      . recognition of strengths and weaknesses
      . discipline through self to corporate
      . despite the nature of the business

      in developing great enterprises in a modern era.

      The sequel of what happens to these iconic companies over the next 1/2 decade of recession will make compulsive reading

      Peter Wallace...more info
    • GREAT!!!
      Good to Great is about a research to discover how an ordinary company can make the transition from being good, to achieving breakthrough and becoming great. He begins the book by describing the transition from good to great as a flywheel that consists of 3 stages of discipline with each stage containing 2 key concepts. What's important to understand is that becoming a great company takes time; it is a slow build up process that takes disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action leading to breakthrough. A great company does not become great overnight through a single defining miracle moment, savior, or revolutionary idea.

      Jim Collins stresses the idea of Level 5 Leaders and having the right people on the bus, which is crucial to having a great company. These concepts are discussed in the first stage of the process, which really makes one re-evaluate the type of companies that one would want to be associated with. These first two ideas had me questioning my own personal work ethics, abilities, attitude, and overall character, hoping that I can be the right person on the bus and someday evolve into a Level 5 Leader. It takes great people to make a great company, so the question is are you or can you be someone great? The next stage of disciplined thought explains how one must confront the brutal facts of the current reality, you can't overcome obstacles or challenges unless you face them head on and have faith that you will prevail. Once this has been accomplished, a clear understanding of what the company can be the best in the world at, what the people in the company can be deeply passionate about, and what drives the economic engine of the company should be addressed. The intersection of these three ideas is what Collins calls the "hedgehog concept" and is another significant factor in becoming a great company. Without this insight and understanding, the company has no direction or light to follow. This stage is, in my opinion, the most difficult of this process. It is probably where most companies get stuck and are not able to clearly grasp and understand what is their hedgehog concept. The final stage is really just following through and having the discipline to make the right decisions and choices, by creating a "culture of discipline", which completely relies on the establishment of the first two stages. This is the chapter that really brings all the concepts together and how to put it all into action. The idea is not having to manage the people in the system, but rather managing the system itself.

      Overall, this book was a very easy and intriguing read. Collins does a great job at keeping the reader interested with the various examples and stories that he incorporates into the ideas that he is trying to get across. He uses a lot of fascinating jargons or statements that really stuck in my mind such as "rinsing your cottage cheese." I believe the ideas that are presented in Good to Great can really open some people eyes and give better understanding of why we sometimes find ourselves dreading the idea of work at one company and excited about going to work at another. On that note, I would highly recommend this book and leave you with a quote from Pablo Picasso, which was used, in the last chapter of the book, "It is your Work in life that is the ultimate seduction."...more info
    • Timely principles needed during this economic crisis
      Jim Collins' study of business core values, principles and success concepts was expected to be timeless, even if the companies in the book were not. This is never more true than in the later half of 2008 where we see time after time companies missing the mark on these concepts and faltering badly.

      I suggest that Congress, the auto makers, unions and especially Wall Street read carefully, no study the concepts in Good to Great. Had Fannie Mae continued the principles it displayed in this study, the housing crisis could have had a leader in future prosperity rather than a goat in the middle of the mess.

      Take the time to study these principles of business carefully and not only follow them, live them. Jim Collins has created a book that is more than good to great, its Built to Last!...more info
    • One fo the best books ever
      LOVE this book! I cant stop recommending it. This book helps to recallibrate your thinking in the business world. The standard school of thought can almost be thrown out as the author takes you through piles of data and research to then draw a logical conclusion on how to move from good to great. These concepts are not isolated to the business world either. There are many pearls that transfer over into relationships, personal growth and development. Enjoy!...more info
    • Good to Great -- the "fluffless" road to greatness
      The CFO of one of my client companies was discussing Good to Great and it caught my attention! He's a smart man with outstanding work ethics, so it would stand to reason he would find this book a winner.

      After reading it, I am amazed that someone finally articulated what many of us had suspected -- it isn't about being good. It isn't about hiring a team to come in and identify our "goals and objectives". It is about something much more quiet, and so much stronger. It is getting the right people on the train...and the wrong ones off. It is about working for the organization, not self.

      This book has many fascinating facts which, if you keep them in the lead of your thoughts, will help you go from good to great as well.

      The road to greatness is not for faint of heart, the under-dedicated, or those who cannot channel their egos into their organizations to work for the common good. BUT, if you are strong, determined and dedicated to the prize, look out--it's going to happen for your organization!

      Definitely, read this book, regardless of where you are in your life/business process.
      ...more info
    • My review
      Good to great is a book that is created from the evidence produced by rigorous study. Using statistics and feedback, it attempts to identify common denominators in behaviors that separate great companies from good companies. The studies were not conducted with any preconceived prejudices, in that they did not have a particular vision of what the answers would be. The people who conducted the study simply applied the scientific method to the statistics and observed the evidence, and based off of that, conclusions were made.

      Collins himself was shocked by the results. To quote page five, "Our five-year quest yielded many insights, a number of them surprising and quite contrary to conventional wisdom, but one giant conclusion stands above the others: We believe that almost any organization can substantially improve its stature and preface, perhaps become great, if it conscientiously applies the framework of ideas we uncovered." The information revealed was interesting, and Jim Collins became the author of Good to Great when he decided to analyze these studies in a self-help book designed for people who are looking to improve their business performance. It is very applied because business is supposed to be about application, not theory, and very useful. Collins did not write this book to show off his cognitive abilities, but to provide a beneficial experience to the reader.

      - Daryl Basarab...more info
    • Pretty great, if a little dated
      I picked up this book from the bed and breakfast bookshelf while on vacation. It's not a book I normally would have chosen to read on vacation, but it was well written and was surprisingly engaging for the topic. It's a study of companies that were good companies for awhile (at least 15 years), then became great companies (outperforming the stock market by at least 3x over at least 15 years). What they found in the eleven companies that met the criteria were some interesting and at times counterintuitive tendencies.

      LEADERSHIP All the companies had what Collins calls "Level 5 leaders," or leaders with a rare combination of drive and ambition but a complete lack of ego. These leaders are humble, quick to credit others, and are driven by a desire to create something bigger than themselves as opposed to a monument to themselves. These leaders shun the cult of personality and are very rarely rock-star CEOs. In fact, Collins found no correlation between CEO pay and good-to-great companies.

      WHO OVER WHAT Good-to-great companies first concern themselves with who they bring on board before decide what needs to be done. The right team can accomplish anything, but even the best game plan will fail if it doesn't have the right people to implement it.

      CONFRONT THE BRUTAL FACTS The g2g companies had a culture of optimistic realism. They had a culture of trust and honesty, where people were empowered to do their jobs and debate was encouraged. Goals were set high, but they never lost sight of the situation on the ground.

      THE HEDGEHOG CONCEPT refers to a parable in which a hedgehog constantly foils a fox by repeatedly doing the same simple thing--being a hedgehog. In business, it simply means finding your company's core competency. What can it be best in the world at? What can it make money at? What is it passionate about? Great companies find and stick to that one thing.

      GOOD TO GREAT also describes the culture of discipline in each company, the adaption to new technology, and the cycles of positive and negative momentum that companies find themselves in. All of these elements work together to create the leap to greatness over time. It's not a singular breakthrough.

      Scattered throughout the book are great case studies, inspirational stories and insightful quotes. My biggest criticism of the book, or observation, is that a couple of the eleven great companies (Fannie Mae and Circuit City) either forgot what made them great or weren't as sustainable as Collins thought seven years ago. That aside, this was an easy read full of a lot of good insight.
      ...more info
    • Good to Great review
      Great practical ideas. How refreshing it is to see a passionate individual pursue an idea to completion and take the time to fully investigate all possibilities.
      It's been a great addition to my book club at work....more info
    • Master bamboozler
      I did not finish this book. Many may argue reviewers should not review books that they have not read entirely, but I think it would ultimately benefit potential readers if even those who started books reviewed them. Maybe then Amazon book reviews would not be so skewed to 5-star reviews. Now on to why I did not like this book.

      As a former management consultant, I appreciated the techniques the author used to make what he was saying sound important such as using fancy charts and graphs and writing in business lingo with little substance. The author also sets the stage by self-aggrandizing. In the first page he ruminates about how much someone would have to pay him in order not to publish the book. Apparently even 100 million dollars would not stop him from publishing his work. Now if this were a truly amazing book and research, why not let the readers decide instead of telling them how great it is going to be? Mr. Collins is smart, however. He knows self-aggrandizing works. Human beings fall for those pretensions all the time. Sales people use those strategies all the time. I don't believe that the author is trying to deceive readers and I am sure he genuinely believes his own material. "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." (quote by physicist, Richard Phillips Feynman).

      Collins looks at 11 companies that have achieved success and tries to explain what drove them to that success. This is a meaningless exercise. Every situation is unique and more importantly it has little application to the real world. If it did, then why hasn't he been able to predict the future successful companies and become rich by investing in them? If you are not convinced by my review, consider this: one of those "good to great" companies that is studied in the book is Fannie Mae. Enough said!

      Addendum (2/21/09): Circuit City is another one of his companies
      ...more info
    • Back to Basics
      You may want to read three other books before this one. Of course, you should read Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, which is the first book. Admittedly, GTG is really a prequel, but the BTL does give you some context. Also, I suggest reading Motley Fool's The Motley Fools Rule Breakers Rule Makers : The Foolish Guide To Picking Stocks. Built To Last is about Rule Makers, and Good to Great is about Rule Breakers. The Brothers Gardner's conceptualization is better than Collins, and a bit more entertaining with the quotes from Henry IV and V.

      Like any book, this one is helpful in sifting the conventional wisdom. Four key points stuck with me.

      First, the necessity of a Level 5 Manager. This is someone who eats, drinks, breaths The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Not as a showboat, but as a quiet way of life. The Iacoccas of the world get the press, but I would much prefer working with a pilgrim-entrepreneur.

      Second--and this idea is really different--the Who precedes the What. I work in a hospital, so the what--health care--is already determined. But, as is shown, we can have an agreed upon goal, but the pathway can vary. Indeed, it must be flexible to succeed. That is why Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics (Dover Thrift Editions)) focused so much on character: laws (or business plans for that matter) can only go so far. Where there is a gap in the law, then we need people of upstanding virtue to stand in the breach.

      The Hedgehog Concept--focus on one thing is surprising in that it is old hat. They spent all of this money to relearn--and hopefully we will finally learn--Adam Smith's theory of specialization:

      "The greatest improvements in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment, with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour." (The Wealth of Nations (Bantam Classics)).

      The Flywheel concept is another case of "The New Idea Is Really An Old Idea." It is the "line upon line, precept upon precept" approach to business. If specialization's fable is the Fox and the Hedgehog, then this one is The Tortoise And The Hare.

      But it gets more profound. The reason why these companies seem to come out of nowhere is precisely because of the Flywheel Principle. A group of executives with stout character slowly plink away at problems over time, and finally the momentum builds up. It is like Kenny Rodgers who described himself as an overnight success after ten years of work.

      Two books elaborate upon this phenomenon: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable and Hurtling Toward Oblivion: A Logical Argument for the End of the Age. This is also one of the weakness with investing in wildcat stocks: even the experts who read the trade magazines aren't aware of what's going on. They are neither mystics nor prophets, and sometimes get lucky--even when they are busy making their own luck.

      In sum: don't look for a strongman, or a superman to come in and save the company. Success traceable to upright character, plodding dedication, and a sense of mission.
      ...more info
    • Interesting look at leadership. CD media great for long drives.
      I read the book a while back and was surprised to find parallels to what my dad and uncle (partners in a small business) experienced in the late 70s/early 80s. I knew they did something special, but it was especially gratifying to see it documented and quasi-proven with multiple industry observations on larger scales. I purchased the CD media so that my dad could enjoy it as well....more info
    • Successful Business Practices
      This book has generated so many successful business practices among my client base that who can genuinely put it down? As a companion to my own book, "The Expert's Edge," it completes the picture for business success. Read it over and over and over!...more info
    • Strategic Planning classic for Managers
      I was actually 'told' to read this book by a Managing Director of a company I interviewed with. He said that it outlined what he felt was central to his leadership philosophy. I did not get the job in the end but I remembered his recommendation.

      I like the book for its evidence (though I believe two of the Good to Great companies have now fallen from grace) and its simplicity and the clarity of its concepts.

      It is now a highly-recommended read that I publicize to my colleagues.
      I have also designed a program to develop my fellow managers, using the interview with Charlie Rose as well as the free diagnostic tool and discussion guide found on Jim Collin's website....more info
    • Worthwhile reading for business execs/majors
      I have only read the first few chapters so far but it's an inspiring read that's easy to follow. Thought provoking and well written....more info
    • Good to Government Cheese
      Good to Government Cheese. Well, the jury is no longer out. What was thought to have worked 20 or 30 years ago may not be all it was cracked up to be. "The bus" analogy appears to have been a recipe for creating a completely narcissistic, homogenous company lacking the ability to see outside of their own contrived success. Can you say Logan's Run? Collins offers plenty of good advice however; I think we can all agree that the "BEST" people do not always create the best company. Simply throwing people off the bus is not necessarily change for the better. ...more info
    • Mediocre at best
      After many years of ignoring the hype about this book (it admittedly has a great name) I buckled and read it. It was o.k. I did find some useful facts and anecdotes in it but for the most part it reminded me of esoteric research papers that I was forced to read in med school and residency -- crammed with #'s and statistics and graphs, but relatively little in the way of real-life applicable insights. Worth a quick perusal. The books by Trout and Ries are much better. ...more info
    • Insightful Read
      This book is a must-read for executives charged with building success and fascinating for anyone interested in business in general. The style is clear and concise and written with a scientist's objectivity. It is free of buzzwords and trendy ideas, but full of solid insights that are based on extensive quantitative research. Its certainly in my top ten list of business books....more info
    • Full Service Maintenance implimentation
      I'm in charge of a large Maintenance organisation and my challenge 9 months ago was to take the business to the next level of sustainability.
      I used this book as guideline to choose my Lead Team of 12 people (Right People). My business coach/facilitator and I took the learning's and transformed it into the Good to Great Maintenance concept of developing a 3 year Maintenance Strategy by means of following the hedgehog concept, however we are still working on this and my Lead Team and I are meeting every Wednesday morning for 2 hours for the next 6 weeks.
      Thus, we have started to move the old big flywheel and already I can see change in behaviour in the workforce and my union members.
      The process is not about change, but instead of evolving into something great without anyone knowing it.
      Give me 1 year and I would be able to share more results - my "gutt" is telling me that this is the right way if you want to have a Constructive Workforce!
      ...more info
    • Good, but surprised no one is bothered by his reading style
      Strong book...the positives are outlined by other reviews here. I will say though that his reading -the audio version is read by Jim Collins- has a bombastic tone, and it feels like he is making a 'hard sell' on the methodological rigor of his work and the subsequent ideas. I'm surprised I'm not seeing other reviewers note this. I find myself cringing at his rhetoric and having to force myself to be open minded to his ideas because I feel he is trying to shove them down my throat. By the 4th CD you get over it, and really appreciate some of the stronger points he makes. The concept of a Level 5 leader is great, although I sense a lot of us buy into this concept out of simple admiration for leaders with those characteristics. He leaves plenty of food for thought....more info
    • Good to great to horrible
      Fannie Mae was featured in the book Good To Great about 4 years ago. At the time the stock was trading at $70+. Seems like it went from good to great to horrible. Time for a new book....more info
    • Captivating for a Business Study
      Very good research and well written. Somewhat dated since 3 of these companies are in trouble today, but the others are still among the best....more info
    • "Good To Great"
      Excellent book. The order process went very smoothly and in an expeditious manner. Workinig with Amazon is a great experience....more info
    • Educational Goodness to Greatness

      Educational Goodness to Greatness
      by WTAX

      Jim Collins has written a book that describes great leadership. Good to Great is a book with concepts that apply to businesses and educational institutions.

      In his chapter entitled Good is the Enemy of Great, I strongly agree with Collins when he wrote, "we do not have great schools because we have settled for good schools." The goal of each school should be to produce sustained strategies for promoting high student achievement.

      In Level 5 Leadership, Collins challenges that every good-to-great company began with a Level 5 leader. I agree with the idea that Level 5 leaders "set up their successors for even greater success in the next generation." Level 5 leaders do not hire leaders based on their looks. School districts should grow their own leaders and allow them to step into the positions of their predecessors.

      The chapter, First Who...Then What, helped me realize that a principal can have the right people in his or her building but not in the right positions to help promote educational greatness within that building. Unlike businesses, educational systems should not resort to lay-offs. They must seek to find the appropriate opportunities for their current employees. The time, devoted to finding another placement will pay off in the long run. Finding another placement allows the principal to build on the time and training invested in that staff member.

      Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Loss Faith) confirmed that great leaders maintain their vision, reality, and faith in the face of strong opposition. Therefore, the goal of principals should not be to motivate teachers. It should be to avoid de-motivating them. Teachers have passion for learning and teaching. Great principals know how to take that passion for learning and teaching to the next level to produce higher student learning and achievement.

      After reading, The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles), I have decided that two of the three circles of the Hedgehog Concept can apply to education. The first is to determine "what you can be the best in the world at?" Second, you must identify what you are deeply passionate about?" These two questions will allow educators, at all levels, to use their strengths to educate others. The third circle "what drives your economic engine" is not readily discussed in education.

      A Culture of Discipline supports the idea that great schools know what they can be the best in the world at, what they are deeply passionate about, and that they have a culture of discipline that produces actions that promote high student achievement.
      The chapter on Technology Accelerators confirmed that great schools have carefully selected technologies within them. Schools cannot afford to have technology sitting and collecting dust. Technology must be used to accelerate learning. Schools' uses of technology will determine their level of success.

      After reading The Flywheel and the Doom Loop, I am convinced that in great schools, principals, teachers, students, parents, and community members experience momentum of the flywheel when the level of collaboration increases and student achievement improves. The opposite happens in "The Doom Loop". Reacting to low student achievement without understanding leads to slowed momentum and an even lower student achievement.

      Finally, the chapter, From Good to Great to Built to Last supports the idea that great schools seek to attain sustainability in high student achievement. Regardless of race, gender, or age, they are interested in providing an educational program that promotes success for all students.

      ...more info
    • The Bus, the BHAG and the Hedgehog!
      I find that I spontaneously use and spout out "Jim Collinisms" (is that a word!) based on the concepts in this book. As a business owner of a marketing firm that helps contract manufacturers get new customers, every day I use the principles of

      * Getting the right people on the bus and then getting them in the right seats.
      * Creating a Big Hairy Audacious Goal and using that as the vision to keep all the horses pulling in the same direction.
      * Focusing on what you're really really good at that is your USP - Unique Selling Proposition, your niche, your sweet spot.

      Thanks Jim -- I hope to someday be a level 5 leader, but need to get beyond the 3's/4's of just good......more info
    • please burn every copy you can find
      Please google critical review of G2G before reading. There are major problems with the "research" presented. Check out Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "The Black Swan" for some insight into what really makes a company great. The answer; no one really knows. It's all random.

      Business books are nothing but fads and fashion. Read, borrow a couple of ideas, then throw them in the trash when you are done. G2G became required reading where I work and in my view has nearly destroyed the company. It was, and still is, considered the Gospel of business. Prior to G2G we grew from zero to $120M in 10 years. In the 7 years after G2G we are down to $60M. (Still profitable, thankfully, but boring.) Life was much more fun before we got hedge-hogged.

      Avoid at all costs, unless you are a fox and read it to learn what the hedge hogs are thinking. ...more info
    • A great book, but try not to fight the examples.
      Jim Collins and his team did a great job of breaking down both business and leaders into factors that helped make them successful. Thought Collins markets his book as a business book I believe, like those of Covey, the theories in this book will serve you well in both business and personal aspects of your life. This book was actually used as a text in my MBA studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Silberman College of Buisness, a nationally top ranking entrepreneurship school. As such I've engaged in many hours of discussion with both students and seasoned professionals about the merits and short-comings of this book.

      First, I'll start with where it comes up short since everyone loves that and I'd prefer to finish on a positive note anyway. Some people feel that Collins's findings just aren't possible to implement in real world work environments. Others argue that most of this material just doesn't apply to anyone that's not a senior executive in the organization. Last, and my favorite, is the rational that success, especially in these companies, is random and luck based. I contend they're all wrong, and I'll tell you why. The only criticism of this book I do accept is Collins's criteria for a successful company is purely financial, which I don't agree with, but he does address hi s reasoning right at the beginning. I understand why he had to do it, but I still don't agree with it.

      To those who argue Collins' methods are not implementable in the real world I say quit arguing the metaphors and learn from the principles. Try not to get stuck duplicating the examples Collins uses in the book, they are just examples. Read between the lines and just pull out what he's trying to say... "first who...", "The Hedgehog Concept", "The Flywheel", and, if you have the audiobook, pay close attention to the student question in the epilogue. These are simple concepts that can have a great impact on you, your organization, and your career. I contend that each and every one of the theories in this book can be implemented in business at all levels, not just at the top, as well as everyday life. I believe you can be a level five leader in life, not just in business. The book "Leadership and Self-Deception" by The Arbinger Institute is a great book to emphasize this point.

      And finally, for anyone that feels success is random and/or we can't break it down into a set of rules or principles I'd recommend reading Taleb's "The Black Swan", (a great book btw) which might make you feel better about yourself. I'd also recommend "Outliers" by Gladwell, another book which does in-depth research into success. Look specifically at the 10,000 hour rule and see how well it fits with Collins's Flywheel concept.

      Now for the pros of this book. There are too many to list. Collins's principles of level five leadership, the fly wheel, the doom loop, build-up to break-through, etc., etc., and so on, and so on are all very good points. Again, these principles don't just apply to business, they also apply to life. I'm currently a technology marketing professional, but not a sr. executive. Build-up to break-through and the flywheel concept are just two great ways I've made a difference in my organization from the bottom up. I'm also an entrepreneur and own my own business and one of the best things I found about Good To Great was The Hedgehog concept and how it applies to Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule.
      Overall a good read with great theories.

      As always the metaphors and examples can be argued until you're blue in the face, but if you attempt to do that then you've already missed the point.
      ...more info
    • The Best Business Book I've Read
      Because of the thorough research, this book is far superior to virtually all other business books. Over the last 30 years I've read over 100 books that profess to be able to help a business improve, and, while most have value, none that I've read have been as valuable to my business as Good to Great.

      We implemented the concepts about 3 years ago and have reaped the benefits since. I can't recommend this book enough. ...more info
    • It was Great
      The book arrived much sooner than expected and in great shape. Very pleased with the service and product....more info
    • Book is great..Shipping is not that.
      Book is definitely worth reading. It provides a vision of management. The disciplines a company needs to follow in order to be out of queue of good companies and becomes great. I did not like the shipping time though. It took almost more than 10 days for the book to arrive after order. I didn't expect the shipping to take that long....more info
    • I usually hate business books, but . . .
      To call Good to Great merely a business book might actually do it a disservice, because like any outstanding creative work, it not only speaks to its subject and its time, but transcends those to address bigger truths about human nature. I hope to some day start my own business (which is when I will be sure to review the many valuable insights), but even if that never comes to pass, I will still consider it time well spent.

      From a rational standpoint it's reassuring to read about the rigorous methodologies and reams of data the author and his team went through, but from my perspective the really interesting part was the lessons they synthesized from these great leaders, and the nicely-phrased comments Collins often makes to sum up said lessons. For example, "expending energy to motivate people is largely a waste of time . . . if you have the right people on the bus, they will be self-motivated." On this and countless other observations I found myself thinking Yes, this is how people are, and this is how they work.

      I couldn't recommend it more highly. ...more info
    • Excellent
      Nutshell review - This is an excellent book. Great insights and ways of thinking about being better than just good. Very motivating and a must read for every manager. ...more info
    • Worth for its price
      I don't need much to write here as hundreds of people has written review for this book.
      In simple terms the book is easy to read & understand. Analyze how best companies manage to retain their position by innovative & intelligent leadership. Research is sound & findings are really interesting. This book would be useful for any leader (or follower) even if they are not into financial sector.
      The concept of "Good is the enemy of Great" struck me the most
      Definitely worth for its price....more info
    • Good service and good product
      Book came on time and very clean. Few writings here and there which was already mentioned. Book is in excellent condition. Thank you....more info


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