Great by Choice distinguishes itself from Collins’s prior work by its focus not just on performance, but on the type of unstable environments faced by leaders today.
THE NEW FINDINGS
The rigorous research project yielded some provocative surprises, such as:
• The best leaders were not more risk taking, more visionary, and more creative than the comparisons; they were more disciplined, more empirical, and more paranoid.
• Innovation by itself turns out not to be the trump card in a chaotic and uncertain world; more important is the ability to scale innovation, to blend creativity with discipline.
• Following the belief that leading in a “fast world” always requires “fast decisions” and “fast action” is a good way to get killed.
• The great companies changed less in reaction to a radically changing world than the comparison companies.
The authors replace conventional wisdom with thought-provoking, sticky, and supremely practical concepts. They include: 10Xers, the 20 Mile March, Fire Bullets then Cannonballs, Leading above the Death Line, Zoom Out then Zoom In, and SMaC recipe.
Finally, in the last chapter, Collins and Hansen present their most provocative and original analysis: defining, quantifying and studying the role of luck. The great companies and the leaders who built them were not luckier than the comparisons, but they did get a higher Return on Luck.
This book is classic Collins: contrarian, data-driven, and uplifting.