Book Review – Good To Great

Gooddownload To Great by Jim Collins compares “good companies” to “great companies” and, I must confess, is one of my favorite business books.  I read this book 6 years ago, and I still refer back to it.  .

Great companies are defined as companies that maintained great results for at least 15 years and generated stock returns that beat the average market by 7 times.

There are too many take-aways from this book to list – but here are the high points that make it a must for me as a student of business and a practitioner of management:

The top level executive (which they call level 5) “builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.”

I loved that they didn’t want this to be about the leaders, but it was a true distinction among the great companies.

They have the right people in the right seats on the bus. “Great vision without great people is irrelevant”. 

This book cemented the idea of putting people in the right place on your team. I also found that the idea of acting quickly when a problem exists really resonated with me.

They Fact Check: “The good-to-great companies continually refined the path to greatness with brutal facts of reality”

The book talked about the fact that the great companies didn’t have better data, they simply acknowledged the facts the data presented and changed their path based on it.

Just being good won’t make you great.  You have to focus solely on what you can potentially do better than anyone else, and stay focused on this idea.

For me, this was a fast read – I could not put it down and I revisit it annually.  I have found that it has helped my approach to hiring and employee development blossom as a leader and manager.  It also really helps as you approach new projects within your organization and ask the tough questions about their validity.

SOUTHERN STARS RANKING: This book receives my highest award of 5 Southern Stars.

Feel free to contact me at with any comments.

Share Button