Monthly Archives: November 2013

Review: Good to Great by Jim Collins


Good to Great by Jim CollinsThe book this week was “Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins. This book has been sitting on the shelves for quite some time and finally I managed to pick it up. I picked it up on an online recommendation, I had never read Jim Collins before, so didn’t know what to expect from this book.

The book deals with the reasons why some companies achieve greatness and others don’t. And Boy! was it good?

This book is an excellent read and I haven’t read a good business book like this for sometime.  The author apparently wrote a book called Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Harper Business Essentials) and explains that this book is a prequel to the first book.

The author deals with the reasons how some good companies achieve greatness and continue to do so for a long period of time. And this long period is picked up as 15 years.  On the other hand some equally good companies fail to become great companies.

The author and his team did extensive research of close to 1000 Fortune 500 companies and selected 11 such companies. According to them all these companies exhibit some similar features, which are essential to achieve greatness and they are:

  1. Level 5 Leadership
  2. First Who….. then What
  3. Confront Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith)
  4. Hedgehog Concept
  5. A Culture of Discipline
  6. Technology Accelerators
  7. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop

Now each of these points are a story in themselves and author does an excellent job in citing stories of real companies who followed these points and achieved greatness.

What I liked most is that even though the extensive research took almost 5 years for author and his team yet the book is to the target and very straightforward, without any fluff. It’s an entirely new perspective and will challenge the conventional thinking for sure. Some people might not be comfortable or even agree with what is written but then what Jim Collins has written is what he found through his research and he is not disseminating some “Gyaan” of his own.

The points he talks about not only applies to Business but in many other areas of life as he explains with a couple of examples in the end of the book.

I highly recommend Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t for everyone whatever your position is CEO or Entrepreneur or a Secondary School Teacher or just a student.

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Review: A Salesman’s Lessons by C.R. Jena

Last week I managed to finish the book A SALESMAN S LESSONS What I Studied Is what I Failed to see: 1 by C.R. Jena.

The author is a sales professional with 15 years of experience selling products and services in IT industry.

In this book the author essentially jots down the sales suggestions/tips that worked for him during the course of his career and goes on to explain the rationale behind each.

The book is divided into 27 different chapters, however he still wraps everything up in 200 odd pages. The language of the book is easy and not many sales jargon has been used.

In the introduction the author does say that the book is for both sales professionals as well as non sales professional. However honestly I didn’t feel it that way. I, being a non-sales professional didn’t enjoy the book very much. But I do see that there could be a lot of learning for the sales professionals.

He doesn’t give tips or tricks and it is definitely not a guide to “how to become a successful sales professional” but a compilation of notes that Jena maintained during his career. Another good aspect that I liked is the author explains it rationally, he compares sales with many different (unusual) principles, formulae, etc. and goes on to make his point clearly.

So I would recommend, if you are a sales professional do give this book a try.

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