Good to Great

By Jim Collins,

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

Book description

Can a good company become a great one? If so, how?

After a five-year research project, Jim Collins concludes that good to great can and does happen. In this book, he uncovers the underlying variables that enable any type of organisation to make the leap from good to great…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked Good to Great as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book shows what it takes to transition from an average (good) organization to becoming a great organization.  With specific data and analysis of organizations that have successfully made this transition, Jim Collins masterfully illustrates the culture, character, leadership, and management that was necessary to become “great”! What I loved in Jim Collin’s assessment, is that the CEO’s who successfully made this transition were not rabble-rouser leaders with flamboyant personalities. They were strategic leaders with a vision that everyone identified with, who created a culture defined by the values of their organization, and who persevered through all challenges and adversity. 

From Robert's list on leading with character.

The rigorous depth of Jim Collins’s research is impressive. What’s even more impressive is how he makes his research findings so interesting. I recommend this book mainly because of Collins’s concept of the Level 5 Leader: the self-effacing yet courageous captain with “personal humility and professional will,” who prioritizes results over ego. The story of Darwin Smith, mild-mannered CEO of Kimberly-Clark who led the transformation of that hidebound paper company from merely good to truly great, is both inspiring and instructive.

From Jocelyn's list on leadership for nerdy introverts.

This classic book focuses on the core issue of how great companies achieve long-term sustained performance. It is a sequel to the author’s earlier book, Built to Last. Good to Great is based on research that compares a defined set of ‘great companies” (including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck) with a comparison set of so-called “good companies” companies that failed to make the leap to greatness. Although General Electric subsequently fell from grace and now is in revitalization, the analysis and sample of companies selected as examples of greatness are reasonable and the overall analysis generally valid.


Good to Great studies some of the greatest success stories in business with the aim of identifying patterns. The author lays out concrete patterns for the readers with the hope that they can strive to replicate these patterns to create long-lasting successful companies for themselves. In building our Growth Marketing agency, Deviate Labs, my co-founder and I bear these lessons in mind daily.

From Raymond's list on becoming a well-rounded entrepreneur.

Perhaps the business book of all business books so chances are you have already read it. So why do I even list it here? Two reasons: This is your sign to finally go for it in case you have in fact not read it yet. And you will learn how to ‘build your own flywheel’ and that propels your chances of turning into an admired brand substantially.  

From Fabian's list on on creating an admired brand.

Not all of Collins' so-called "Great" companies have passed the test of time. But his concept of a Level Five Leader makes this book well worth it. It's hard to build a great team without a leader who is focused on the mission far more than personal praise and accolades.

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