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

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: Jim Collins , Jim Collins
Narrator: Jim Collins , Jim Collins
Genres: Business & Economics, Management & Leadership
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published In: June 2005
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 10 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

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 very beginning.

But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? Are there those that convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? If so, what are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

Over five years, Jim Collins and his research team have analyzed the histories of 28 companies, discovering why some companies make the leap and others don't. The findings include:

* Level 5 Leadership: A surprising style, required for greatness.
* The Hedgehog Concept: Finding your three circles, to transcend the curse of competence.
* A Culture of Discipline: The alchemy of great results.
* Technology Accelerators: How good-to-great companies think differently about technology.
* The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Why those who do frequent restructuring fail to make the leap.

Reviews (44)

Good to grating

Written by Anonymous on May 14th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 1/5

It's terribly annoying to hear Mr. Collins read this book. He's the nerdy professor gone wrong, with one of the most annoying verbal deliveries imaginable.

Good but not Great

Written by Hoss on September 19th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 4/5

It was good but dragged on. Some very good points. Two businesses that were used have had major problems since. One even going out of business. Worth listening to, but not first on the list

Good but not Great

Written by Hoss on September 19th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 4/5

It was good but dragged on. Some very good points. Two businesses that were used have had major problems since. One even going out of business. Worth listening to, but not first on the list

Read and Learn

Written by Susannah on May 28th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is one of the best business books of all time, and Jim Collins does a great job of making the audio version engaging and accessible.

Good to Great

Written by Anonymous on August 26th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I didn't find this to be very engaging and finally opted to send it back after a few days of trying to listen to it.

Kick in the Teeth

Written by Ethan on December 23rd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is a straight up, in your face book that every employee / employer should read / listen to. Larry does a great job of holding your attention while laying it all out there in plain and simple terms. YOUR SUCCESS ( or failure ) IS YOUR OWN DAMN FAULT! Stop whining about it! I loved it.

Just OK

Written by Anonymous on November 21st, 2008

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I picked up a few good one-liners, jotted down a few ideas. Thankfully I got the abridged version. By the end (and I have to admit skipping a few tracks) I felt like I was being preached to. Still, worth the listen if for no other reason than the book is so darn popular.

perfect for tough times

Written by Troy from Oshkosh, WI on November 10th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is a great CD, great book, and fantastic ideas can be learned about what it takes to find sucess and how to nurture it within a business. I've read the book 2 times, listened to a tape, and now the CD. I'll keep reviewing the material as it's just so practical. The CD read by the author adds a dimension that is always nice.

Church and State

Written by Rev Dr Xavier on August 20th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

First, I am glad Jim Collins includes the references to churches. This book would be good reading for lay leaders in church organizations. For a congregation to move from good to great the lay people must be the level five leaders. Second, as I listened in the middle of this election year, I hypothesized that Sen. Obama's leadership started at level five but in the heat of pre-convention campaign he has not been able withstand the pressures of politics as usual and has lost the focus on his core value.

Inspiring

Written by Anonymous from Philadelphia, PA on July 9th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I haven't read a lot of business books but I am very pleased with the author's data driven approach. I am inspired to listen to the author's previous book, "Built to Last".

Author Details

Author Details

Collins, Jim

Jim Collins is a student and teacher of enduring great companies -- how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great companies. Having invested over a decade of research into the topic, Jim has authored or co-authored four books, including the classic BUILT TO LAST, a fixture on the Business Week best seller list for more than six years, and has been translated into 29 languages. His work has been featured in Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company.

Jim’s most recent book, GOOD TO GREAT: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t attained long-running positions on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week best seller lists, has sold 3 million hardcover copies since publication and has been translated into 35 languages, including such languages as Latvian, Mongolian and Vietnamese.

Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he now conducts research and teaches executives from the corporate and social sectors. Jim holds degrees in business administration and mathematical sciences from Stanford University, and honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado and the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Jim has served as a teacher to senior executives and CEOs at over a hundred corporations. He has also worked with social sector organizations, such as: Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Leadership Network of Churches, the American Association of K-12 School Superintendents, and the United States Marine Corps. In 2005 he published a monograph: Good to Great and the Social Sectors.

In addition, Jim is an avid rock climber and has made one-day ascents of the North Face of Half Dome and the Nose route on the South Face of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. He continues to climb at the 5.13 grade.

Collins, Jim

Jim Collins is a student and teacher of what makes great companies tick, and a Socratic advisor to leaders in the business and social sectors. Having invested more than a quarter-century in rigorous research, he has authored or coauthored six books that have sold in total more than 10 million copies worldwide. They include Good to Great, Built to Last, How the Mighty Fall, and Great by Choice.Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award