Great by Choice Summary – May 2022

Author: James Collins, Morten Hansen

Short Summary
Great by Choice (2011) by James Collins and Morten Hansen offers well-researched and extensive insights that you require to run a successful and great business. In a world where everything is ever-changing and tumultuous, you need solid strategies to ensure that your business does not get affected by every change that the industry comes across.
great by choice summary
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

Great by Choice is a tribute to the companies that have changed, adapted, synchronized, and sustained over the period of time. James Collins along with Morten Hansen has observed and researched over 20,400 companies to present the advice he is bestowing upon us. In this book, you will find brilliant entrepreneurial analysis and concepts. The book is not about just gaining instead success instead it teaches you to steer your company towards success and growth that will be everlasting and will be creating an impact. Running a successful business is not as easy as it sounds. You have to follow the right rules and strategies. You need to realize that not everyone’s advice is worth it. Furthermore, you need to research, evaluate and look for any possible information that may be beneficial to your strategies.

 Discipline is the first and foremost quality that has been adopted by every successful person and company. Followed by the creativity that is backed up by empirical data. So that you do not lose all of your assets trying to follow trends or doing what just appears to be good but is in fact fruitless. Next comes paranoia. No, not the kind that makes you lose your mind. The kind that results in you looking ahead and taking precautionary measures. This will result in stability and growth in your company. In the Great by Choice summary, you will learn the gist of all this advice offered by Collins.

Great by Choice Summary Key Points


There is a reason for the ‘pre’ present in this word. You do the work beforehand. Preparing for circumstances that may happen is what makes you a genius and keeps your business steady. As a leader, you should be able to foresee some of the trends and changes. This will enable you to be ready in case things do not go your way. If you need to run a successful company you cannot let any minor or major change define the results.


Discipline is what gets you from a to z. As a good entrepreneur, you can never blame the environment or the circumstances. Instead, you can ensure that you and your team work hard, stay consistent with or without motivation and generate results. Even during times of distress and loss. You need discipline for generating consistent ideas and discipline in action for your business.

Creative Evidence

The second step after ensuring discipline is creativity but not the type that comes from the opinions and ideas of others. You are running a business. It takes your sweat and blood along with your money as an investment. This is why you cannot listen to ideas and advice. Be creative but only after rigorously studying and observing the plan. Look at the empirical evidence that is present in favor of and against your strategy. You can dive into the case studies and research that have been done by and on different companies over years. Look at the numbers, not just ideas. This will give you a clue of how many chances are there for your strategy to work. Then make a decision.


The third is paranoia, as I said earlier your business takes more than your money as an investment so yes you need to be a little paranoid but in a way that generates results. Look out for trends or strategies that can go against your company and your business plans. Be ready for whatever you fear will happen beforehand. In this way, you will secure your company of any possible losses and make it bulletproof not just for the day but for coming years. Your paranoia will make you fear the worse and that will make you delve deeper into each tactic and strategy. You will be looking for any holes and any failures. This will also increase and enhance your understanding of the industry.

Great by Choice Quotes

“The idea that leading in a “fast world” always requires “fast decisions” and “fast action”—and that we should embrace an overall ethos of “Fast! Fast! Fast!”—is a good way to get killed. 10X leaders figure out when to go fast, and when not to.” –James C. Collins

“Far more difficult than implementing change is figuring out what works, understanding why it works, grasping when to change, and knowing when not to.” –James C. Collins

Great by Choice Summary Review

The book does not spoon-feed you on how to become great and take your company to new heights. Instead, it provides solid evidence, well-researched facts and extensive study that you may learn from. The book takes more of a descriptive approach rather than a prescriptive one. It is very practical with lots of processes and strategies explained in detail. Collin and Hansen’s mind-boggling and extensive research is what makes you stick to the book. Great by Choice is imbued with knowledge so grab this book and get ready to be mentally stimulated.

To Whom I Would Recommend Great by Choice Summary

  • To entrepreneurs who are investing their money into a new business.
  • Twenty-year-old business students who need to be educated about the core principles regarding business.
  • And to anyone in the business industry who is too scared to just ‘go with the flow’ and scared to be ruthlessly creative.

Link: https://amzn.to/3zIuFKv