Book Summary: Good To Great

Explore what goes into a company's transformation from mediocre to excellent. Based on hard evidence and volumes of data, the book author (Jim Collins) and his team uncover timeless principles on how the good-to-great companies like Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo produced sustained great results and achieved enduring greatness, evolving into companies that were indeed 'Built to Last'.

The Collins team selected 2 sets of comparison companies:

a. Direct comparisons ? Companies in the same industry with the same resources and opportunities as the good-to-great group but showed no leap in performance, which were: Upjohn, Silo, Great Western, Warner-Lambert, Scott Paper, A&P, Bethlehem Steel, RJ Reynolds, Addressograph, Eckerd, and Bank of America.

b. Unsustained comparisons ? Companies that made a short-term shift from good to great but failed to maintain the trajectory, namely: Burroughs, Chrysler, Harris, Hasbro, Rubbermaid, and Teledyne

Wisdom In A Nutshell:

a. Ten out of eleven good-to-great company leaders or CEOs came from the inside. They were not outsiders hired in to 'save' the company. They were either people who worked many years at the company or were members of the family that owned the company.

b. Strategy per se did not separate the good to great companies from the comparison groups.

c. Good-to-great companies focus on what Not to do and what they should stop doing.

d. Technology has nothing to do with the transformation from good to great. It may help accelerate it but is not the cause of it.

e. Mergers and acquisitions do not cause a transformation from good to great.

f. Good-to-great companies paid little attention to managing change or motivating people. Under the right conditions, these problems naturally go away.

g. Good-to-great transformations did not need any new name, tagline, or launch program. The leap was in the performance results, not a revolutionary process.

h. Greatness is not a function of circumstance; it is clearly a matter of conscious choice.

i. Every good-to-great company had "Level 5" leadership during pivotal transition years, where Level 1 is a Highly Capable Individual, Level 2 is a Contributing Team Member, Level 3 is the Competent Manager, Level 4 is an Effective Leader, and Level 5 is the Executive who builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.

j. Level 5 leaders display a compelling modesty, are self-effacing and understated. In contrast, two thirds of the comparison companies had leaders with gargantuan personal egos that contributed to the demise or continued mediocrity of the company.

k. Level 5 leaders are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results. They are resolved to do whatever it takes to make the company great, no matter how big or hard the decisions.

l. One of the most damaging trends in recent history is the tendency (especially of boards of directors) to select dazzling, celebrity leaders and to de-select potential Level 5 leaders.

m. Potential Level 5 leaders exist all around us, we just have to know what to look for.

n. The research team was not looking for Level 5 leadership, but the data was overwhelming and convincing. The Level 5 discovery is an empirical, not ideological, finding.

o. Before answering the "what" questions of vision and strategy, ask first "who" are the right people for the team.

p. Comparison companies used layoffs much more than the good-to-great companies. Although rigorous, the good-to-great companies were never ruthless and did not rely on layoffs or restructuring to improve performance.

q. Good-to-great management teams consist of people who debate vigorously in search of the best answers, yet who unify behind decisions, regardless of parochial interests.

r. There is no link between executive compensation and the shift from good to great. The purpose of compensation is not to 'motivate' the right behaviors from the wrong people, but to get and keep the right people in the first place.

s. The old adage "People are your most important asset" is wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are.

t. Whether someone is the right person has more to do with character and innate capabilities than specific knowledge, skills or experience.

u. The Hedgehog Concept is a concept that flows from the deep understanding about the intersection of the following three circles:

1.What you can be best in the world at, realistically, and what you cannot be best in the world at

2.What drives your economic engine

3.What you are deeply passionate about

v. Discover your core values and purpose beyond simply making money and combine this with the dynamic of preserve the core values - stimulate progress, as shown for example by Disney. They have evolved from making short animated films, to feature length films, to theme parks, to cruises, but their core values of providing happiness to young and old, and not succumbing to cynicism remains strong.

w. Enduring great companies don't exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders. In a truly great company, profits and cash flow are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very point of life.

"IF YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING YOU CARE DEEPLY ABOUT AND IF YOU BELIEVE IN IT, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO IMAGINE NOT TRYING TO MAKE IT GREAT."

By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla http://www.bizsum.com "A Lot Of Great Books....Too Little Time To Read" Free Book Summaries Of Latest Bestsellers and More!

mailto:freenewsletter@bizsum.com BusinessSummaries is a BusinessSummaries.com service.

(c) Copyright 2001-2005, BusinessSummaries.com

Regine Azurin is the President of a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Review: Profit From The Author Inside You

I've reviewed a number of eBooks recently, and none of... Read More

Amapola - Book Review

Alan Heywood writes a stimulating, though sometimes improbable, adventure novel... Read More

The Storyteller, Volume I - A Must Read Book

The Storyteller New Book Offers Supernatural Tales Involving Everyday PeopleMartha... Read More

Give a Little - Book Review

This 310 page saga is Scott Underhill's second superbly written... Read More

The Leadership Pill - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review

The Leadership Pill is another volume for those of you... Read More

The Legend of Juggin Joe - A Preview of the Comedy Sensation You Dont Want to Miss!

THE FROGGIN INCIDENTAs I recall this particular happenin', which we... Read More

The Rich Jerk - A Study in Anti-Marketing

I've always been fascinated by "anti-marketing", and how powerful its... Read More

For Fans of Seinfeld-like Coincidences

Isn't That Bigamy (c) 2005, ISBN 1411634241, Mike Vogel, Lulu... Read More

Media Star Power Book Review

Media Star Power: ABCs to Successful TV, Radio, Print &... Read More

Washington Historian Remembers Harriet Lane, the Greatest First Lady

Washington Historian Remembers Harriet Lane, the Greatest First LadyWASHINGTON DC:... Read More

Book Review: Money Without Matrimony

MONEY WITHOUT MATRIMONY: The Unmarried Couples Guide to Financial Security,... Read More

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - A Review

If writing was a religion, it shall be easy to... Read More

Spiders Big Catch

When I was in college, Spider McGee, Charlie Fox, and... Read More

Book Summary: How To Work With Just About Anyone

"I just can't seem to get along with this person!"Every... Read More

Sorat and the Modern Day Evil

"Sorat's evil will be spread by his infernal army of... Read More

Book Review: The NEW Game Of Business

If you think you've seen and heard everything there is... Read More

Putting it on Paper - Book Review

"Dawn Josephson, author of 14 books, has written a fantastic... Read More

Atlanta Pastor Releases Book Of Life

Local Atlanta Pastor known for his charity work such as... Read More

Ferns Dragon - Book Review

"Fern's Dragon is a wonderfully fun read that stimulates the... Read More

Book Review for The Margaret Ellen, A Karen Cobia Mystery by RC Burdick

I've discovered a new favorite author, and his name is... Read More

Inspiration for the Fired Soul

You're Fired! is a book that tackles the real story's... Read More

Pausing To Catch My Breath - Book Review

"Debra Warren has appropriately titled her book of poetry 'Pausing... Read More

Create Your Own Future - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review

Create Your Own Future: How to Master 12 Critical Factors... Read More

Looking for Harvey Weinstein Book Review

Brassy, ballsy and full of energy.A totem of two women's... Read More

Shattered Memories, Scattered Emotion - Review

Betty Woodrum released her first book of poetry entitled Shattered... Read More

Geeks & Geezers - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review

Geeks & Geezers: How Era, Values, and Defining Moments Shape... Read More

Review of Alicia Maldonado: A Mother Lost by Ardain Isma

This modern, aristocratic book portrays real-life events and how hard... Read More

Who Moved My Cheese? For Teens - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review

Who Moved My Cheese? For Teens by: Spencer Johnson, M.D.Spencer... Read More

Why Malta? A Mystery-Thriller Author Tells Why

"Why Malta?" my new Maltese friends kept asking me when... Read More

Marone Memoirs: An Immigrant Story - Review By Amanda Evans

Marone Memoirs ? An immigrant Story by author Sarah E.... Read More

Fading Towards Enlightenment - Book Review

Fading Toward Enlightenment by Wayne Wirs is definitely a well... Read More

Turbo Strategy - A Book Summary

Businesses are run mostly on auto-pilot and any problem areas... Read More

Young, Fabulous and Broke? Suze Orman Has Debt Relief & Financial Freedom Advice Books for You!

Are you a parent that has all the financial responsibility... Read More