Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen

September 2, 2017

I am not a very big fan of books on management or the ones that deal with personality development, though once in a while its worth exploring the genre. Specially when the book is written by someone well renowned like Jim Collins. His first book Built to last which was about myths, insights and practical guidance to build a visionary companies which stand against the testimony of time, was a best seller.It was very well researched and had great insights and as it turns up, so is the book Great by Choice.

Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen Review

Genre : Non-Fiction (Management)

Ever wondered what makes great leaders great? What makes them take the right decisions at the right time and build their companies into huge empires ?

Great by choice tries to answer this question while also considering an additional detail. What makes great leaders great in the face of volatility and  turbulence? What do these people (whom the book calls 10x ers) do differently in uncertain and difficult times that seem to debilitate their competitors in the industry?

The book considers many cases where the 10x ers charged ahead and benefited from times of duress when all around them the industry seemed to collapse. It then carefully tries to identify the traits that separate them from all the the others who had failed and have fallen back in the race. What key qualities do emerging leaders need to cultivate in order to survive and thrive in an environment that is hostile to many but favourable to the few who know how to navigate the storm.

The book offers some counter intuitive ideas and debunks some popular myths regarding great leadership traits. It showcases how conventional wisdom and popular theories about leadership can not only fail at making progress but may also sometimes prove detrimental to the progress when the conditions are not ripe. It sheds light on the role of innovation and discipline and how and in what quantities these tend to influence the chances of someone getting to the top.

The book can feel a little dry and too scientific at times for general readers though. All in all an interesting read for those who are interested in leadership and management.

Recommended for :

Readers interested in management and leadership.

About the Author :

Jim Collins (born 1958) is an American business consultant, author, and lecturer on the subject of company sustainability and growth. He is the author or coauthor of six books that have sold in total more than ten million copies worldwide, including the bestsellers Good to Great, Built to Last, and How the Mighty Fall. Jim began his teaching and research career as the faculty of Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was honoured with Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. He now operates a management lab in Boulder, Colorado, where he conducts research, teaches, and consults with executives of the corporate and social sectors.

Morten T. Hansen is the co-author of Great By Choice and the author of Collaboration. He is the founder of the Center for Corporate Transformation, Inc.  Hansen is a management professor at the University of California, Berkeley and at INSEAD, France.  Formerly a professor at the Harvard Business School, he holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he was a Fulbright scholar and received the Jaedicke award for outstanding academic performance. Morten has also been a senior management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in London, Stockholm and San Francisco.

Wrap Up

  • 7/10
    Writing
  • 7.5/10
    Insights
  • 7.5/10
    Author

Pros

  • > Interesting insights
  • > Counter intuitive ideas
  • > Through and detailed research

Cons

  • > Sometimes a little too dry
  • > Some convenient assumptions
  • > Too technical and scientific at times

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