Great by Choice

  • by Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen
  • Narrated by Jim Collins
  • 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The new question: Ten years after the worldwide best seller Good to Great, Jim Collins returns to ask: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? In Great by Choice, Collins and his colleague, Morten T. Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times.
The new study: Great by Choice distinguishes itself from Collins’s prior work by its focus on the type of unstable environments faced by leaders today.
The new findings:


The best leaders were more disciplined, more empirical, and more paranoid.
Following the belief that leading in a “fast world” always requires “fast decisions” and “fast action” is a good way to get killed.
The great companies changed less in reaction to a radically changing world than the comparison companies.

This book is classic Collins: contrarian, data-driven, and uplifting. He and Hansen show convincingly that, even in a chaotic and uncertain world, greatness happens by choice, not by chance.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Real Insight!!

How many times have you heard popular business authors say 'break all the rules', 'innovate or die', 'act now!' and 'be bold!'? All this sounds good, but is it true? Mr. Collins book brings a realistic, pragmatic and actionable view of what makes a business successful - amid all the hype. His book focuses on three success factors: fanatic discipline, empirical creativity and practical paranoia. Each of these factors grounded in significant research. For example, with the passing of Steve Jobs, there's lots of talk about the importance of innovation. Mr. Collins work puts innovation in proper perspective by showing that companies need a certain level of innovation in their companies to survive, but companies that innovated a lot, tended to get into trouble. This is where the book cuts through the hype and puts innovation into a realistic context.

Who is this book for? Here's the amazing thing about this book: you can apply these principles to a major corporation, non-profit, church, or even to yourself! If you're a leader of any size organization, you'll walk away from this book with stuff you can start doing on Monday. This book continues Mr. Collins outstanding series of books: Built to Last, Good to Great - everyone of them a home run.
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- Kurt

Surprisingly good

Whether you are an entrepreneur, investor or a manager this book provides useful information in a thought provoking and approachable way.

The book discusses how a range of different companies succeeded in turbulent business climates, and relates the lessons learned to other ventures such as scaling Everest and reaching the South Pole. It is immensely useful not only in improving how you manage, but also in helping you identify well managed companies (hence why I suggest this read for investors as well).

While I class buying this book as research, it has also been one of the most entertaining and engaging books I have heard this year. The only down side for me was the narration which is a little choppy, however listening to the book at 2x speed alleviated this.

Needless to say I heartily recommend this book to anyone wanting to quantify what makes some companies super successful. Anyone with even a passing interest in this field will find its stories hugely interesting ind insightful.
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- Simon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-11-2011
  • Publisher: HarperAudio