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A Review of “Good to Great” by Jim Collins: Unveiling Business Excellence

Good to Great

Welcome to a journey into business excellence. “Good to Great” by Jim Collins is a beacon of wisdom for those striving to elevate their organizations. In this review, we illuminate the path to greatness, unveiling the book’s timeless lessons.


Title of the Book: “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t”

Format: The book is available in various formats, including hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audiobook.

Author: Jim Collins

Language Available In: The book is available in English and has been translated into several other languages.

Number of Pages: The standard edition of the book contains 320 pages.

Book’s Significance: “Good to Great” is a seminal work in the field of business and leadership. It seeks to answer the question of why some companies achieve enduring greatness while others do not. Collins and his research team conducted a comprehensive study of publicly traded companies to identify those that made the transition from good to great and sustained that performance over time. The book provides valuable insights for leaders and organizations looking to achieve long-term success.

Genre: Business, Leadership, Management

ISBN: 978-0066620992

Publisher: Harper Business

Publishing Date: The book was originally published on October 16, 2001.

Average Rating: The book has an average rating of 4.06 out of 5 on Goodreads, based on numerous reviews.

Link to Buy the Book




“Good to Great” delves into the characteristics and strategies that set exceptional companies apart from their peers. Jim Collins and his research team identified a set of companies that experienced sustained greatness and analyzed what made them different. The book offers practical lessons and actionable insights for leaders and organizations striving to achieve excellence.

3 Major Learnings


  1. The Hedgehog Concept: Collins introduces the idea that great companies focus on what he calls the Hedgehog Concept, which involves finding the intersection of three key factors: what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be the best in the world at, and what drives your economic engine.
  2. Level 5 Leadership: The book emphasizes the importance of Level 5 Leadership, where leaders display a unique blend of humility and fierce resolve. Level 5 leaders are more concerned with the success of their organizations than with their personal egos.
  3. The Flywheel Effect: Collins discusses the concept of the flywheel, where small, consistent efforts in the right direction lead to substantial momentum and eventually breakthrough results. This underscores the importance of persistence and a long-term view in achieving greatness.

3 Famous Paragraphs


  1. “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
  2. “The good-to-great leaders never wanted to become larger-than-life heroes. They never aspired to be put on a pedestal or become unreachable icons. They were seemingly ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results.”
  3. “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”

3 Hidden Facts


  1. The research for “Good to Great” spanned a five-year period and involved a team of researchers who analyzed data from thousands of companies.
  2. The book emphasizes the importance of the “Stockdale Paradox,” named after Admiral James Stockdale, a Vietnam War hero. This concept involves confronting the brutal facts of a situation while maintaining unwavering faith in the ultimate success of the endeavor.
  3. Jim Collins and his team coined the term “Level 5 Leadership” to describe the highest level of leadership effectiveness, characterized by personal humility and professional will.

3 Books Similar to “Good to Great” in the Same Genre


  1. “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras
  2. “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail” by Clayton Christensen
  3. “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek
Link to Buy the Book


Frequently Asked Questions


What companies are featured in “Good to Great” as examples of greatness?

Some of the companies featured in the book as examples of greatness include Abbott Laboratories, Fannie Mae, Kimberly-Clark, and Wells Fargo, among others.

Is “Good to Great” primarily focused on large corporations, or does it offer insights for smaller businesses as well?

While the book primarily analyzes large corporations, many of the principles and concepts discussed can be applied to organizations of all sizes, including small businesses and startups.

What is the main takeaway from “Good to Great” for aspiring leaders?

The main takeaway is the importance of disciplined leadership, a commitment to continuous improvement, and a focus on achieving sustained greatness rather than settling for mediocrity. The book emphasizes the enduring qualities that separate exceptional companies from the rest.

Know More


“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink

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