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Good To Great Book Summary

Book Introduction

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Good to great book summary starts with  the question , how did all these companies become great companies? Can other companies follow in their footsteps and become great companies?
The answer to this question was astonishing because neither these companies had made any major changes nor any miracle had taken place but they had reached the pinnacle thanks to their excellent management team and hard work.

Can an average company be a great company? If so, how does this process happen?
To find the answer to this question, Jim Cullen researched the 40-year record of 1435 companies for ten years. As a result of this research, eleven companies were identified.
The shares of all these companies rose 6.9 times in 15 years compared to their competitors.

Author Introduction:

Jim Collins, the author of the book Good To Great, is a management scientist who founded an administrative research laboratory in the United States. He has been researching business companies for over ten years on how to “make a good company, a great company”. He has also served as an advisor to CEOs of several well-known rural businesses in the United States. Prior to this book, he authored two more books on business, Built to Last and Beyond Entrepreneurship.



Highlights of the book:

According to the research of Jim Cullen and his team, eleven companies went from good to great based on three points and they formulated six principles from three points which have now become the everlasting principles. Any company can become a great company by doing. They are.

  1. Organized people: Bringing the right people into the company and gaining a foothold through them.
    ا۔ Five levels of leadership
    B. Who first, then what
  2. Organized Thinking: Being ruthlessly committed to your cause and not overcoming any obstacles.
    ا۔ Facing the right facts
    B. Basic thinking
  3. Organized process: Determining what is important and what is not to reach the destination.

A. A culture of discipline
B. Best use of technology
Key-1: Good is the enemy of the Great.
According to Jim Cullen, Good is the enemy of the Great. Compromising on the good is actually the death of Great. We don’t have great schools because we have good schools, we don’t have great hospitals because we have good hospitals. Similarly, very few people can become great because the majority of people are good. Rich is just happy in life. When we talk about companies, a large number of companies do not become great in spite of hard work because they are satisfied with the good. Good, the enemy of the great is only the companies. Not just a problem but a common problem of all human beings.

If we study the good to great book by jim collins seriously and change our thinking accordingly, good schools can become great schools, good government institutions can become great government institutions and good companies can become great companies.

Organized people:

5Level – The term leaders refers to the organization’s ranking up to five levels.
Level 1 Extremely talented people
Level 2 – Best Team Member
Level 3 – Good Manager
Level 4. Effective Business Leader
Level 5 is a combination of leadership, humility, and professionalism.

Level 5 Leaders Features:

Key-2. Five levels of leadership:
The leaders of great companies are not the shining stars or celebrities of society but they rise from the bottom to the top of the same companies. They are incredibly humble and professional. They often attribute their success to their own destiny, not to their own personality.

They have a dual personality, on the one hand, they are very enthusiastic but their enthusiasm is limited only to take their organization to heights. Such leaders never let their ego get in the way. They are not proud but humble.

They feel the need to produce good results permanently.

Over time, they produce good and hard-working successors so that the next generation will have even more success. I Will stop calling them great).

Leaders from below celebrate success with others, but they blame themselves for failure. That is why those who work under them are loyal to them.

They are not celebrities, that is why their personality does not obscure the efforts of others. They always thrive in their institutions. Of course, a great company depends on human labor and not on a huge investment or a big initiative.

Leaders from the bottom up have great motivation to make their company a great company. For this purpose, they do everything they need to achieve clear results.

۔ They wait for a situation where they can get the best results. When they succeed in doing so, they do not take credit for it themselves but give it to the whole team, because coming from the bottom up. Leaders are accustomed to working quietly from the beginning

They adopt ideas and ideas that can make their company great. They are accustomed to thinking all the time.

۔ The management of such companies does not go out of their way to lead, but honestly develops its own qualified workers.

۔ Such companies believe that leaders from the bottom up are within them. She prepares them for future responsibilities.


The author comments on some of the stages in the development of business leaders who grow from the grassroots level: The book covers the experiences of successful business leaders who come to the fore. Studying this research can make a good company a great company. ” Thus, Jim Collins considers the leadership coming from the bottom to be gratifying and thinks that this is the essence of this book.

Organized people:
3.Key – first, then what:

It doesn’t matter how big your goal is in the journey to greatness, it matters how many right people you have chosen. And what were your main goals in choosing them? The more suitable people are engaged in a better job, the better the results will be. Therefore, first, we have to go to who and then what.

As stated at the beginning of the book, a great company does not have a magic lamp, but it makes a place for itself with its hard work. Gather a lot of people around you. Make him responsible for making you a great company

In other words, an intelligent and charismatic leader should be nominated to set the aims and objectives of the company and with the help of his assistants, he should traditionally decide first what and then who. That is, he must first decide what to do. Then he must decide who has to do it. Jim Collins condemns this thinking in the strongest terms. , And all the important things like initiative are put in the swing of an intelligent person who becomes a dictator and runs the company at his own will. So he goes to this company. In these situations, the difficulties of your company increase.

In this regard, the companies that go from good to great make very different decisions. They choose the right people from the beginning. When this process is complete, then the same people decide which direction the company should go. So companies that go from good to great first solve the problem of Who and then move on to What. All of this is done before the company’s goals and objectives are set. Companies that go from good to great with the exact meaning are the first to find the right people.

Explaining the strategy of great companies, Jim Collins adds that such companies basically adopt three strategies in decision making.

  1. A great company, when it comes to leadership selection, does not hire anyone when in doubt, but looks quietly, that is, wait and see. There is no doubt that companies that grow from good to great grow at the rate at which they choose the right people.
  2. ۔ If you want to get someone fired, it is done immediately. By the way, these companies select good people from the beginning, but if a team member is not performing well, then someone else is suitable for it first. The position is seen, where it can be adjusted, if this is not possible then it is removed immediately. Use the right people to create great opportunities, not just solve them. You can get the right people to solve your organizational problems, but you can’t turn a good company into a great company.That’s why great companies need to put their best people in a position where they can expect maximum financial benefits. Because the opportunities created by the right people will outweigh the savings you make by investing them in the weak side of the business, but later on the same work will lead to a loss.The best-of-breed companies avoid getting caught up in a situation where they want to use their best people where their business is declining and their goal is to turn loss-making units into profitable ones. Jim Collins It is said that resolving the issue of Who before What does not mean that the companies that become the best of the best get involved in this debate, what to do and what not to do and even if the conversation starts. Conversely, when you bring in who you are, the chances of free discussion and the right solution to problems increase in such companies.Because the people you hire have a higher level of thinking than the average person. They move from one point to another and find many solutions to a problem. Thus the purpose of the discussion is to find the best solution. The difference between good and great companies is that whatever solution they come up with after a discussion, everyone, as a team, stands by that solution. They do not argue about what their priorities are. And what are their interests?

That is why such companies achieve incredible success. Inevitably, when the services of the right people are hired, every man enjoys his share of the work because he is fit for the job. In such a friendly environment, the heads of the best companies become personal friends of their team members.
In such a healthy environment, everyone enjoys working with others. Therefore, their interaction means to enjoy and cooperate, not to obstruct each other. Thus in great companies, the charming feeling of friendship and common purpose of life is found equally in the lives of all individuals.

Organized thinking:
Key-4. Hedgehog Concept:

Every day a cunning fox attacks a hedgehog mouse with its cunning tricks and wants to enjoy this delicious food. Takes the form of a ball of thorns

Sticking to this simple technique every day is the reason he escapes every time.
Following in the footsteps of the hedgehog, even the best-growing companies cling to their core purpose and do what they think is best. In this way, the companies that become the best become the best in the race. Such companies have three main characteristics:

A . They do things that make them more proficient.
B. In which they are expected to get more profit.
C.The work that their workers do with enthusiasm.

Organized thinking:
Key-5. Facing the ground realities:

All the best companies know that long-term results can only be achieved if a few good decisions are made and then implemented. Learn to cope with the situation. That situation may be a source of anxiety for the leadership. Companies that become the best only know how to make decisions based on the situation on the ground. In order to be realistic in decision making, the best companies create an environment where the truth, no matter how bitter, is heard and acted upon. The following methods are adopted for this purpose. Are

1۔ Give opportunities for questions and answers: Many businessmen have this misconception that they know how to solve every difficult situation. But the truth is that they do not know the real truth at all. On the contrary, companies that go from good to great take a different path. Their leadership shows that they are unaware of the difficult situation. Become clear. The purpose of these questions is to get to the bottom of the problem and find a solution to it, not to annoy or offend anyone.

2. ۔ They engage in the positive and constructive debate: Companies that grow from good to great grow through intense debate, heated conversation, and healthy disagreement because they are able to reach a positive solution through discussion. The CEOs of such companies often act as mediators and facilitators in between so that the debate does not stall before a positive conclusion is reached. They are convinced that good decisions are usually made. Heat comes from heated arguments and debates while there is also a fight going on inside the house.

3. ۔ Debate is about learning, not slinging mud at each other: even the best of the best companies make mistakes in their decisions, but the great thing about them is that they don’t cover up their mistakes. Mistakes lead them to learn more so everyone is anxious to learn from their mistakes.

4. ۔ Learning from your mistakes: It is not possible for a great company to have more resources or information than its competitors. The fact is that they have a red flag, which means that They put the previous mistake in the file and flag it so that it will never be repeated again. And ignore those that are not important. This process creates an environment within the organization where the truth is always heard with enthusiasm and not quietly buried. Such companies also face marketing difficulties, but thanks to the best marketing, these companies grow stronger and stronger, and over time, people learn to differentiate between them and other companies. Such companies are always on the lookout for decisions that are more difficult in their eyes. On the other hand, they maintain the unshakable belief of success. Such companies overcome difficulties even if it takes them many years to achieve success. Over time, the thinking of the leaders of such companies changes because The bitter realities of marketing are more important than personalities and sometimes bosses want to look at them from their own angle. That is why such companies do not rely on a single individual.

Jim Collins calls new and emerging leadership the first step to success. He thinks that in any case new leadership should be allowed to emerge. People should only be influenced by facts and results, not the personal desires of the boss. Successful companies should keep their members informed of the ground realities because there is nothing more frustrating to the workers than marketing. Difficulties – Jim Collins says that when traveling from a good company to a great company, it is not necessary that you have the answers to all the questions, but that it means that you can find out the real problem through humble questions. What is it and what is the solution?

He believes that leadership is a clear purpose in life. But the purpose of leadership is to face the hard and bitter truth bravely. It is against nature for you to speak but not give others a chance to speak. We know the difference in how to create an opportunity so that everyone’s voice can be heard and a conclusion can be reached. Encouraged and got the right solution from them.

Organized process:
Key-6. Culture of Discipline:

A culture of discipline means equipping an organization with people who are accustomed to an organized process that conforms to the organization’s core policy, but five things are needed to create such an environment:

  1. Freedom to follow a set path: Companies that grow from the best to the largest under a consistent operational system give their local managers the freedom to do what they think is appropriate, but they do not go beyond the rules.
  2. ۔ Supporting people who set an example for you in personal discipline: The best-growing companies are the ones that first straighten out their inner ranks and then try to improve their performance. They focus on what is their strongest weapon. And Nat avoids new experiments and does not back down from her original purpose.
  3. ۔ They cultivate a strong culture, not dictatorship: CEOs of the best-growing companies are never oppressors who force people to work because of their personalities. They know that they will cultivate a culture of discipline where all people work together like the engine of a machine. The goal is to do these three things. ۔

A۔ What is the best company?
B. What is the biggest source of revenue for a company?
C. What work are its workers most interested in?

۔ Staying true to your main goal: The identity of a medium company is that it starts working on many projects and projects at the same time, but on the contrary, a company that grows from great to great never gets involved in the tasks in which it Doesn’t be an expert, nor does she get caught up in an adventure where she is working on a joint project with other companies. Jim Collins describes it as the thinking of a hedgehog.

Lack of future to-do list: Many companies have a to-do list.

But Jim Collins believes that the best companies don’t have a list of future jobs. They do not spend their funds on general projects but on activities that support their core purpose.

Jim Collins says companies that go from good to great look weak and dull on the outside, but when you look inside, you find that they are full of people who work hard. The author emphasizes that you should not confuse the culture of discipline with coercion because CEOs who are accustomed to working hard fail to deliver good results on a regular basis.
The best example of discipline is to stick to your main goal and spend on it and make it better. Avoid tasks that do not fall within your purview

He believes that the success of a company depends on bringing organized people into the company. If the wrong people come to the right place, the results will be bad. On the contrary, if the right people come to the right place, a good company will automatically become a great company. Will go

In an environment where decisions are not imposed, the author believes that bureaucracy becomes inevitable only when there are many incompetent people in your boat. If the right people in your boat are the riders and the wrong people are gone, then you don’t need the support of the bureaucracy. I join everyone and this process runs automatically under an automated system.

Organized process:
Key-7. Best use of technology:

Companies that go from good to great look at technology differently:

۔ They combine any new technology with their basic ideology, their real work. Although they are very advanced in terms of technology, they are very careful in their use. They have the same question on the use of technology. Is this technology compatible with our basic idea, that is, basic work?

If technology is useful in this regard, they adopt it, if not, they do not adopt it.

  1. They use technology beyond the thinking of their experts. Once the best companies get the technology they need, they work hard on how to use that technology. Don’t even know the experts of this technology.
  2. ۔ Their thinking is balanced in their use of technology, the media and culture take notice of new technology, but the best-growing companies have a moderate view of it because they do not see technology as the key to their success. They don’t even want to talk about it much. The people of such companies, although they consider technology important, do not consider it necessary for their success.Therefore, in such companies, it is important to know how to use this technology and not how to compete with others. If the technology is in line with their core purpose, it will put the company on the path to growth. But if the same technology is misused, it will lead to the downfall of the company, In short, no technology, no matter how good, can automatically bring a company into the ranks of the best. No technology can create a leader for you from the bottom up. Similarly, no technology can stop the wrong people from coming to the right place. No technology can create a discipline that can change ruthless ground realities. Similarly, no technology can make you think that you can leave your true strength on the table and survive only as a good company., While you can become a great company.


At the end of the good to great book summary, I want to share, author Jim Collins says: “Every time I look at my work, I feel very proud that I have not only helped people to set up businesses and companies, but I have done my research to help them.” Has offered to those who want to do something in the world. That is why the author considers his work not to be primarily a business study but a constitution for the formation of great institutions. The way the author has comprehensively presented the basic difference between good, average and great in this useful book has made this book Good to Great the best book of the present day which will continue to guide the readers in the future as well.

What do you think?

Written by mc9xo

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