- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 1 minute
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com Release Date: July 13, 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003VXI5MS
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't Audiobook – Unabridged
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If you are a leader or desire to be one, this is a must read. He speaks to much more than just trends, but to actual character. As a fairly charismatic person, I found it interesting to see some of the downsides of charisma. I really appreciated his approach to discussing the power of clarity and consistency.
Now that I've read the book, I see it's themes running through so many other books like, "Start With Why". This is a classic and I can not recommend it highly enough.
Circuit City: Out of Business (Thanks Amazon!)
Fannie Mae: Bad due to housing crisis
Gillette: Bought by P&G
Philip Morris: Good
Pitney Bowes: Slowly running out of business
Wells Fargo: Good considering financial crisis
This book is very well laid out, divided into easy to follow chapters that flow one right into the other; I found myself reading over 20 pages at a time without noticing until I took a break! Collins establishes the framework of success through three stages known as: disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action. Within each of these stages comes two key concepts that build off of each other: Level 5 Leadership, First Who Then What, Confront the Brutal Facts, The Hedgehog Concept, Culture of Discipline, and Technology Accelerators.
Collins does not shy away from starting off strong in his book, saying “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice” (pg. 11). I found this quote profound because I believe that in order to make something more than just mediocre, one must be in an above-mediocre mindset. As an Industrial Engineer, I feel the need to have this mindset of greatness, in order to not only make a product, system, or company good, but GREAT. There are multiple layers found within this book where I could relate many of these proposed tools for a great company into using these tools to gauge for a great life. Even if you are not an Industrial Engineer, or any type of engineer for the matter, not an entrepreneur striving for success, not a CEO of a business trying to take a leap of faith into a huge growth of progress, I believe this book is still a GREAT read for any person! There are numerous lessons within this book that can be relatable to not only business, but everyday life. There is a whole chapter dedicated to figuring out who the right people should be going along with a company, then figuring out where to go with the company; First Who Then What. The First Who Then What shows why setting the correct priorities in any situation is important, and can be related to everyday life by knowing who to let into your life that will help you grow, and who to let go of; once you have the right “team” in your life, then you can figure out What you want to accomplish. Once the tools of greatness has been addressed, Collins completes his book by encouraging the reader to find greatness in all parts of one’s life; “As your work moves to greatness, so does your life,” (pg. 210).
For these reasons already stated, I would highly recommend others to adapt a culture of discipline (also a main idea from the book) to read and get acquainted with Good to Great and keep their passions and lives GREAT.
For our class we had to interview a top level executive of a local company. This was during the deepest part of the recession and many companies were going through very trying times. We were able to interview a second generation President of a very large steel company. The first thing he told us when we sat down was that he had read the book in graduate school and tries to apply these ideas every day. The scheduled one hour interview went on for 4 hours. He had an amazing amount of information on the real world application of the concept and ideas of the book and it really showed me that this book has some great ideas that many companies could benefit from. He really spelled out the foundation of his company and how it has benefited from the ideas provided in the book. Determining his niche, finding the right people and putting them in the right spot, the hedgehog concept, etc. were all contributed to his success and ability to ride out the recession. I highly recommend this book.