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Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters Paperback – August 28, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452288703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452288706
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Note from Sir Richard Branson
Richard Branson is best known for his successful Virgin brand, encompassing everything from a record label, a chain of music retail stores, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and more. In September, 2006, Branson agreed to donate $3 billion to fight global warming.

"There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions—in a way that serves the world and you. In this book you will learn from unknown and famous people—inspiring leaders like Nelson Mandela and entrepreneur Michael Dell—along with schoolteachers, scientists, community workers, athletes, artists, Nobel laureates and the Presidents of nations.

"From Bono and Quincy Jones to Maya Angelou and The Dalai Lama, they all challenged themselves to do more, be more and give back more than even they thought possible. Everyone wants success, but you can do better than that. This is an extraordinary book that finally reveals a meaningful 'secret formula' for success based on the lives of remarkable people."



Lessons of Lasting Success
Watch video of co-author Mark Thompson as he interviews figures featured in Success Built to Last.

Sir Richard Branson Jimmy Carter Herb Kelleher John McCain
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group
President Jimmy Carter
Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines
Senator John McCain



--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Porras, who co-wrote the original Built to Last, teams with successful life coaching company co-founder Emery and top executive coach Thompson, to interview 300 successful people, tagged "builders," to uncover the secrets of their winning life journeys. Though there's a good deal of wisdom here (for example, when faced with failure, builders "let it go not because they're in denial, but because they must keep focused on what they're building"), the book does not skimp on the platitudes ("losers call it failure; winners call it learning"). The early portion of the book overdoes the authors' excitement about the range and depth of the interviews, setting the reader up for disappointment in the long, less-than-profound stretches. The high volume of contributions, however-from Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Maya Angelou, Jack Welch, Stephen Jobs and a host of other well-known and lesser-known achievers-makes this book better suited for picking and choosing than reading cover-to-cover. Segmented into presentations on meaning, "ThoughtStyles" and action, lessons depend largely on common sense, a willingness to accept responsibility, and the idea that "pain or passion will make you good enough; but pain plus passion will point you to greatness."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This is a book about personal discovery, purposeful choice, and above all else, honestly confronting what really matters in life.
Richard J. Mirabile
Success lies at the intersection of thought, meaning and action, and this book gives clear examples of how each plays out in the lives of successful people.
Greg Ferguson
Success Built To Last will help me refine my mindset and actions to be even more effective and successful in what I do with my life.
Thomas Duff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It is important to understand the two methodologies by which the authors obtained the material for this book. As they explain, first they completed more than 200 personal interviews from 1996 to 2006; after analyzing the responses, they identified 21 broad topic categories that emerged from the conversations. "The strongest of these made it into the book." Then, with their manuscript already drafted, they tested their assumptions by creating a unique independent survey to challenge their conclusions. What they call their "World Success Survey" was made available online (on April 18, 2006) to subscribers to Knowledge@Wharton. More than 365 people from around the globe responded within the first week.

"This independent sample of data provided a comparison set and validation for our interview findings, and showed significant differences in perceptions and mindsets between respondents categorized as `successful' or `unsuccessful' in their professional or personal lives."

It should also be noted that the authors "overlaid an unusual time limitation" on the "universe" of people interviewed: a 20-year minimum. With very few exceptions, they eliminated those who had achieved significant success in their careers for less than two decades. The group was largely over age 40 and the oldest individual interviewed was 95.

Others will have their own reasons for holding this book in high regard. Here are three of mine. First, the authors challenge conventional thinking about how successful people stay successful. Those interviewed as well as those who responded to the "World Success Survey" redefine success. For example, that everything in life should be kept in "balance.
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Format: Hardcover
"Built to Last" came out a dozen years ago and had a big impact on the way people in business talked about what it was they were doing. When you boil all its concepts down, it was about making active choices. Don't be limited by the existing structure. Don't fall for the trap of not being able to do what you need to do because you think you have to do something else. Make sure that you know what your core foundation is and preserve that while you are fostering growth with Big Hairy Audacious Goals and trying lots of things, and making sure that your companies purposes and values are aligned.

This book takes those same principles, and a few others, and recasts them into three overlapping circles of meaning, thought, and action. Where those three overlap is the place where the title of book, "Success Built to Last", lies. Rather than researching companies as in the first book, Porras, Emery, and Thompson interviewed 200 "successful" people. Some famous, some rich, some not famous, some not rich. They were looking for common factors in what made their lives feel successful to them.

Not surprisingly, it boils down to being active about your choices. Don't play by rules made by others, don't enslave yourself to goals you think others want you to achieve, and don't measure your life by another's yardstick. Down that road is misery and lots and lots of psychotherapy (with or without drugs). This book is full of good advice, good anecdotes, and helpful sayings about how you go about setting up your own life and your own success.

I would also recommend "Small Giants" by Bo Burlingham for more stories about people who found success and meaning in successful companies without following the "normal" path to growth, riches, and misery.

This is a good book and I hope it sells a ton. But that is probably a safe bet. Recommended.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Almost everyone wants to be more successful. As evidence of that, look at the rows of shelves in book stores filled with self-help and success-related titles. But no one wants to be successful for the proverbial 15 minutes and then sink into ineffectiveness and obscurity.

Jerry Porras (coauthor of Build to Last), Stewart Emery (an important figure in the Human Potential Movement) and Mark Thompson (an unstoppable interviewer and executive coach) have combined their diverse talents to provide powerful insights into what has worked best for those who have sustained personal success for over 20 years. The book is one part methodology, one part great stories and one part keen insight.

Here was the process that led to the book. Interviews were held during 1996-2006 with over 200 high profile people who had enjoyed lasting success (CEOs, community leaders, professionals, politicians and small business people). For the most part, they avoided the geniuses in favor of people who built extraordinary results from more ordinary abilities and resources.

In early 2006, surveys were done on a worldwide basis with subscribers to Knowledge@Wharton to test the findings from the interviews.

Regression analyses were used to sort out the key influences. The results were used to structure the book's key conclusions.

What did they learn?

The key concept is that continually successful people combine meaning, thought and actions in mutually consistent ways that provide sustained performance.

Let me describe each area a little. Meaning is important because it ignites passion in you and others. Success requires persistence. Without continuing passion, it's hard to be persistent enough to be a lasting success.
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