Good to Great

Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

Ranked #1 in Six Sigma, Ranked #1 in Consultingsee more rankings.

To find the keys to greatness, Collins's 21-person research team read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. The findings will surprise many readers and, quite frankly, upset others.

The Challenge
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 the company that is not born...

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Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Good to Great from the world's leading experts.

Jeff Bezos Founder/Amazon"Collins briefed Amazon executives on his seminal management book before its publication. Companies must confront the brutal facts of their business, find out what they are uniquely good at, and master their fly wheel, in which each part of the business reinforces and accelerates the other parts," Stone writes. (Source)

Max Levchin Co-founder/PayPal, CEO/Affirm, Investor[Max Levchin recommended this book as an answer to "What business books would you advise young entrepreneurs read?"] (Source)

Dave Ramsey Author[Dave Ramsey recommended this book on his website.] (Source)

Steve Blank Recommends this book

Ev Williams Co-Founder/Twitter, CEO/MediumRecommends this book

Drew Huston Recommends this book

John Doerr Recommends this book

Simon Sinek AuthorRecommends this book

Marvin Liao Partner/500 StartupsMy list would be (besides the ones I mentioned in answer to the previous question) both business & Fiction/Sci-Fi and ones I personally found helpful to myself. The business books explain just exactly how business, work & investing are in reality & how to think properly & differentiate yourself. On the non-business side, a mix of History & classic fiction to understand people, philosophy to make sense of life and Science fiction to picture what the future could be like (not always utopian). (Source)

Brian Armstrong Co-founder & CEO/CoinbaseRecommends this book

Brian Scudamore Founder & CEO/1-800-GOT-JUNK?Being a great company isn’t about high-tech products or rockstar CEOs. It’s about sharing values and rowing together as a team. At O2E Brands, we hire for culture and train on skill, because having people who see our vision for where we want to go is more important that a resume. (Source)

Frank Blake As a business person, I love [this book]. (Source)

Rand Fishkin When I first finished the book, I admit that I still had trouble thinking about how to apply many of the lessons to a company like SEOmoz - with our 7-person team and eclectic industry focus, we would seem to be a far cry from the Krogers, Circuit Citys, Walmarts, and Fannie Maes of the world. But, I did something I rarely ever do - I went back and re-read. I think I've probably read each chapter at least twice in the past 75 days. And, finally, it started to sink in. I wanted to apply these lessons and ask these tough questions about SEOmoz. (Source)

Joel Gascoigne Good to Great is one of the first transformative books I read as Buffer started to grow beyond a product, and into a company. This happened when we were around 7 people and I started to feel like we needed to think about "culture", a concept that I previously had no real way to understand apart from conceptually. As the team grew beyond 7, I noticed that team dynamics came much more into play, and we couldn't assume that everyone knows everything anymore. In addition, I realized that the people we work with affect us immensely. Good to Great helped me to understand how important culture is... (Source)

Bogdana Butnar I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written. (Source)

Bogdan Iordache There are quite a few good business books on technology, and I'll list below some I find to be a good starting point. Personally, I like biographies a lot and I mostly read biographies of dead people, because those are the most honest ones. So because the computer age is still very young, there won't be a lot of biographies in my list. (Source)

Michael Sanderson I’m an avid reader, so it’s hard to pick just one. I really think you need to read everything you can get your hands on — history, biography, fiction, all of it. As an entrepreneur, I think there are some books that you need to read just because they have become such an integral part of the business lexicon, books like Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits and Jim Collins’ Good to Great. (Source)

Sean Si Recommends this book

Satya Patel Recommends this book

Yaniv Feldman Recommends this book

Lawrence Jones Mbe After last week's "I'm Reading..." post, I got many more messages asking what other books have shaped my entrepreneurial career & what I recommend. Read today's post where I share a book that has shaped the way I do business: "Good to Great"- Jim Collins. (Source)

Ken Blanchard Recommends this book

Tracy DiNunzio It’s too good. [...] Definitely a must read. (Source)

Amir Salihefendic Recommends this book

Brett Wigdortz The Tipping Point was more important for the early part of Teach First, and this book was a kind of follow-on. It is really about how you change and break through in an organisation. There are a few points he makes that I think are really important. One of the main ones is the idea of “level five leadership” – that the best leaders “build an enduring greatness through a paradoxical combination of humility and professional will”. I think it is this combination of humility and will that is important in so many great leaders I have seen. You need the humility to take feedback and constantly be... (Source)

Brian Burkhart Jim Collins’ “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t,” which is about acquiring the right talent. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim and working with him. Just watching him and the way he talked about businesses—from tiny firms you’ve never heard of to global giants everyone knows—meant a great deal to me. Early in my career, there were times when I let some less-than-great team member stick around. After working with Jim, it was a different story. (Source)

David Brudo What really struck me when reading Good to Great was the importance of strength-based leadership and focusing on the strengths/positives instead of being problem-oriented, and how this is linked to success. This is specifically important when you are an entrepreneur because generally speaking you have larger ambitions than you have resources. Given the success rate of startups, the odds are statistically against you. So if you have a strength-based mindset, focus on the things that work, and understand why and expand on that, you have the keys to survival and success. (Source)

Chandini Jain This book talks about how a good company can become a great company by conscious choice and discipline. Specifically, the idea of First Who, Then What (first get the right people on the bus, then figure out where to drive it) is interesting. (Source)

Iulia Ghita On the leadership side, my favorite concept is Jim Collins’ “Level 5 Leadership” from Good to Great. Level 5 Leaders look out the window when things go well, to find the reason for success or progress. At the same time, they look in the mirror when things go poorly, taking responsibility, never blaming bad luck. (Source)

Mark Moses Every time I read it I get more out of it. I appreciate the way he instills the impact of having the very best people and having the courage to replace those that are not. (Source)

Cody McLain Will assume career path is running a startup, getting clients and managing a team of employees or collaborating with founders. These are some of the best books to cover these areas. It’s hard running a startup, let alone being the person who has to make the highest decisions in the organization. These books help provide the framework in how to run a successful organization but also share some of the stories and pitfalls from other founders so you can avoid making the same mistakes. (Source)

Boban Dedovic Question: What books had the biggest impact on you? Perhaps changed the way you see things or dramatically changed your career path. Answer: Here are some others [books] that are important to me. Zero to One by Peter Thiel (on startups) Mastery by Robert Greene (life and career path study) Good to Great by Jim Collins (on growing a great company) Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher (negotiation) (Source)

Catrinel Hagivreta Good to Great: Jim Collins – to learn about the most successful companies and their keys of success. (Source)

Louis Grenier If you want to think about strategy, the proper strategy, how to understand what to do, what not to do, read: “Good Strategy, Bad Strategy”, “Good to Great” and “Blue Ocean Strategy”. (Source)

Theresa Evanoff Here are some of my favourites around purpose, positive habits, positive thinking, and business goals. I’m a firm believer that subject expertise can be learned, but character-building traits, like perseverance and purposefulness, must be honed. “Purpose Driven Life”, Rick Warren “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey "The Magic of Thinking Big", David J. Schwartz "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" by Ben Horowitz “Good to Great”, Jim Collins “Doing Good Well”, Willie Cheng (Source)

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