Chapter 1: Good is the Enemy of Great

Starting Great vs. Becoming Great:

  • Many “great” companies start great
  • Companies like Microsoft always seemed to be something special
  • Dynamic leaders seemed to pull many companies into greatness from the beginning
  • What, then, makes a company become great?
"The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good— and that is their main problem."

Identifying the Enemy:

  • Many companies never achieve greatness because they are already good
  • A company that is comfortable with "good" will never become "great"
  • There is often little visible incentive to "fix what isn't broken"
  • Some companies, however, take on the challenge to become great

The Leap from Good to Great:

  • This book observes companies that have changed their culture to reflect greatness
  • The method examined companies who grew from average to immense returns compared to their industries
  • The principles that brought the companies to greatness inform the findings in the book

The Myths Exposed:

  • The path to greatness is not what many people think
  • Celebrity leaders actually hurt performance
  • Advanced technology has nothing to do with bringing a company to greatness
  • The change from good to great is not a glamorous turning point, but a slow march
"Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice."

The Framework:

  • Some themes were consistent across all great companies studied
  • These themes are broken down piece by piece to give an action plan for companies who want to make the leap
  • Among the common threads are Level 5 Leadership, confronting brutal facts, a culture of discipline, and the concept dubbed "the flywheel"
  • All of these concepts and more are broken down chapter by chapter throughout the book


Created with images by Pexels - "architecture buildings city" • skeeze - "diving leaping ocean" • Göran Höglund (Kartläsarn) - "Tibet" • Jonas B - "Mountains" • Unsplash - "hong kong cityscape china"

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