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How a good company can become a great company

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Near the top of virtually every list you'll see of the best leadership books, you'll find Good To Great, by Jim Collins.

The book, five years in the making, and published in 2001, addresses the all-important question of: Can a good company become a great company, and if so, how?

Some of the lessons from the book are:

  • "Leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted."
  • "Leading from good to great does not mean coming up with the answers and then motivating everyone to follow your messianic vision. It means having the humility to grasp the fact that you do not yet understand enough to have the answers and then to ask the questions that will lead to the best possible insights."
  • "Good-to-great companies use technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it."
  • "Engage in dialogue and debate."
  • Good-to-great companies are those who have the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.

Good To Great's lessons are for entrepreneurs running small businesses, for CEOs of large businesses, and for leaders and managers within businesses at all management levels.

The five years of research that Collins and a team conducted to prep for the book consisted of examining 1,435 U.S., publicly traded companies and their performance over 40 years. The book focuses on 11 good-to-great companies.

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 nearly a quarter of a century of research into the topic, Jim has authored or coauthored six books that have sold in total more than ten million copies worldwide. They include the classic Built to Last, a fixture on the Businessweek bestseller list for more than six years; and How the Mighty Fall, a New York Times bestseller that examines how great companies can self-destruct.

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