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Great by Choice by Jim Collins

“Look, if you had on shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment would you capture it? Or just let it slip?” – Marshall Bruce Mathers III

How many books on business would quote rapper Eminem? I’m fairly confident that Great by Choice stands alone.

Earlier this year I read Jim Collins’ masterpiece Good to Great and I was delighted with the amount of analysis and insight. Collins does just commend great companies, he and his team dig deep to find what makes each thriving company tick and why failing companies fail.

Great by Choice is nearly a continuation of Good to Great. In this volume, Collins and his team look at particular industries that have been faced unusual trials and search for the company that not only survive trying times but actually beat the competition tenfold – known as 10Xers.

Though numerous companies and their leaders are mentioned throughout the book, the center of attention goes to Southwest Airlines and its CEO Howard Putnam. Over and over again, the decisions or Putnam are praised. He created one of the most respected companies in America while being nearly the only airline to make a profit over the years.He did nothing radical. He did not reinvent the wheel. He did not revolutionize anything. He made simple decisions that helped his company and he stuck to the plan.

Collins and his team break down the simple ideas that help companies flourish through the good times and the bad. This is another great work by Collins, even though it felt more like an addendum than a completely new work.