If you got something valuable from Jim Collins' Good to Great, you should pick up Great By Choice. In these uncertain economic times, Collins and Hansen challenge some pre-conceived notions about how companies and business leaders can succeed and excel in a negative market. In the classic form of Collins' earlier books, Great By Choice is clear, cogent, and concise. It is easy to understand and is a pleasurable read.
Collins and Hansen and their team of researchers studied the results of companies that performed at more than ten times their industry indexes over a period of fifteen years during times of economic instability. Their findings were a bit surprising. The leaders who guided these 10X companies (their term for the top performers), were not fast-moving gamblers that pushed their organizations to the limit to innovate and change with changing times. Most often the opposite was true. The leaders of the 10X companies were cautious, prudent and (as Collins and Hansen put it) paranoid planners. They support their empirical findings with anecdotes such as comparing the two men who made a run for the South Pole in the late 1800s. They showed clearly the different approaches the two men had and compared that to business leaders of today. They also showed why one man succeeded with supplies to spare while the other died in the frozen wasteland with his entire crew.
A recommended read for business leaders, but also for anyone who is troubled by our current global economic circumstance. This book delineates some vital attitudes and approaches for anyone who needs to weather a difficult time. It is as inspirational as it is instructive.