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The Founder's Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth Hardcover – June 7, 2016
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As a founder myself, I get it. I care about my company so much. I understand what it means to have a founder around. I think your book is so interesting, so right on.” J.J. Abrams, MSNBC’s Your Business”
"In a good book, I look for people who have made a ton of mistakes, so I can learn from them. One of the observations in The Founder’s Mentality [by Chris Zook and James Allen] is that founder-led companies in general perform better on the stock market." Chieh Huang, cofounder and CEO of Boxed on what he reads at 30,000 feet, as seen in Forbes
Chris Zook and James Allen have done a fine job of putting this theory into words. Their book, The Founder’s Mentality is the product of a lot of research, and thousands of hours of experience by these two senior Bain partners.” Management Today, UK
Fascinating and worth noting.” Amanda Lang, Bloomberg GO
If your company isn’t soaring as anticipated, look inside not out. Chances are your problems aren’t due to market forces but rather issues such as a distancing from core principles, becoming deaf to your consumer’s voice and sometimes a founder not empowering his people. These are some of the insights gleaned from The Founder’s Mentality.” USA Today
Summer is here, and everyone needs a business book or two to read. I’m recommending The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth by two very senior partners and strategy practice heads at Bain & CompanyChris Zook and James Allen. Forbes.com
Excellent Zook and Allen’s book focuses on how to manage the following dilemma: How can we manage growth without destroying what made us great? The Founder’s Mentality causes us to appreciate the brilliance of an IKEA and to take practical steps to keep the Founder’s Mentality at the forefront of the way we define strategy, the way we hire front line people, and the way we design compensation systems.” Psychology Today
Chris Zook and James Allen are known for their books on strategy Their new book [The Founder’s Mentality] is a departure in the sense that they turn their attention, for the first time, from external strategy to internal, but it continues their now fifteen-year bent of focusing on companies’ roots in the process of helping them in periods of growth. In that sense, Zook and Allen are staying true to their own coretheir core research on how companies grow, which is immense and impressive, and their core purpose of helping leaders through that process. The other consistency across all their books is the great blend of research and storytelling.” 800-CEO-READ (Editor’s Choice)
The founder mentality mixes passion with chutzpah for success The result of this mentality is a bonus for shareholders. When Mr. Allen and Mr. Zook looked at shareholder returns in the S&P 500 over 15 years, they found firms with strong founder influence performed 3.1 times better.” Financial Times
This is a very thoughtful and assured exploration of a key challenge that faces all organisations as they scale that will interest founders and those concerned about the long-term health of their organisations.” The Irish Times
If you are a business in the early-growth stages or believe that having an early-growth” mindset will be crucial to helping your business, then The Founder’s Mentality will provide the vision that you need to begin planning. The book s authors conducted extensive research on companies in the U.S. and abroad and use that information to provide basic, down-to-Earth principles that can immediately shift your brain (and that of your employees) into a new way of thinking.” Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com)
The duo Chris Zook and James Allen have delivered a bull's-eye. With The Founders Mentality they have written a book that is both practical and technically sound, six out of six stars Buy this book.” Borsen (Denmark)
filled with examples of how large companies like Apple, Haier, Google, IKEA, and Nike have managed to stay in touch with their core values, even as they've grown massive.” Inc.
ADVANCE PRAISE for The Founder’s Mentality:
Carlos Brito, CEO, Anheuser-Busch InBev
The concept of the founder’s mentality,’ and in particular our ownership’ culture, has been central to our evolution and growth as a company. Remembering how we became successful in the first place has helped us act boldly and quickly with an insurgent mindset. This book offers great insights for business owners and leaders.”
Michael Dell, founder and CEO, Dell Inc.
As a founder I resonate strongly with the themes of The Founder’s Mentality, especially with regard to the overwhelming importance of speed, singular focus, and the ability to invest for the long term.”
Adrian Gore, founder and CEO, Discovery Group
Zook and Allen share invaluable insight as to how to preserve a company’s founding purpose, perspective, and energy, while preventing institutionalization from diluting it. Their work has been instrumental in the way my leadership team and I think about our culture, our structure, and our business model.”
Linda Rottenberg, cofounder and CEO, Endeavor Global
In this heavily researched and compelling book, Zook and Allen provide a road map for winning growth. Companies that build and maintain healthy cultures scale with speed and sidestep avoidable stall-out. Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur, an investor, or a Fortune 500 manager, you need The Founder’s Mentality!”
Les Wexner, founder and CEO, L Brands
As companies grow, scale and complexity can become a real threat to momentum. Zook and Allen’s The Founder’s Mentality offers useful insights to help leaders maintain agility in order to sustain their success.”
About the Author
James Allen is a partner in Bain’s London office. Co-head of the firm’s Global Strategy practice, he is founder of the Bain Founder’s Mentality 100, a global network of high-growth companies.
Zook and Allen are the authors of five bestselling books on strategy, including Profit from the Core.
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1. Front-Line Obsession
2. Strong focus on cost.
3. A bias toward action.
4. An aversion to bureaucracy.
I highly encourage any business leader -- particularly if you're starting to feel that your organization has lost its sense of direction -- to read this book. It'll return you to the proper mindset, and help your business stay on target for greater things!
This is book by consultants who likely had a mandate from Harvard to publish something. Could have been written in 2 chapters and directed you towards more substantive case studies around the leaders and businesses mentioned.
All concepts, trends, and examples are backed by 30 yrs of robust Bain & Company data. As such, you’ll find in The Founder’s Mentality that Zook and Allen not only sharply identify the problem areas of growth, but they also clearly delineate concrete strategies and actionable tactics leaders can apply to overcome Overload, Stall-out, and Free Fall. After all, leaders must be the “guardians of speed and agility” in order to combat these three diseases that almost always plague growing companies.
“The Founder’s Mentality” is written clearly and concisely with illustrative, interesting case studies. My key takeaways from the book are to continue to actively listen, challenge myself to speak-up with ideas (even if they seem completely against the grain of the company), and never become too distanced from the front-line experience.
I found the book to be well researched and written. The book certainly kept me engaged throughout. I found the case study examples provided to be illustrious, helpful and interesting.
Even though I am a non-business person, I am very glad I read this book. I was particularly struck by the fact that most businesses fail or get in trouble due to internal conditions, rather than external market related issues. Given that I work in the employee wellbeing space, this was particularly valuable information for me to learn.
From my perspective, I think the authors did a great job describing the issues and potential solutions to each. Since these are described by the other reviewers, I will not repeat them here. I am definitely glad I decided to read this book.
My challenge now is to figure out how to best apply my new learnings in the employee health, wellness and wellbeing work I do.
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with lessons that can be applied to all relationships and communities.