Book Review: Great by Choice
When asked if the authors were more or less optimistic after this research study, they said ‘this study shows that whether we prevail or fail, endure or die, depends more upon what we do than on what the world does to us.’ How encouraging, and sobering; we can and should take ownership of ourselves and our actions, what we can control, which is our reactions and responses.
Choice – a theme over and over again in this book. The companies in this research study had good luck and bad luck. More or less of either one did not weigh into the results. In fact, the authors use the term ROL – Return on Luck, and they mean good or bad. Are we prepared for what we cannot foresee? Are we methodical and disciplined? Do we accept what is in front of us and own it?
Although ‘luck’ is not the focus of the study, Great by Choice has as its premise how comparable companies facing uncertainty, chaos, and luck-events can have very different outcomes. Under the heading ‘Luck is not a Strategy,’ this came down to a few key points: Behaviors— fanatic discipline, empirical creativity, productive paranoia, and Level 5 Leadership; 20 Mile March—consistent effort, nothing less no matter how difficult, and nothing more no matter how tempting; Fire Bullets Then Cannonballs—disciplined testing, then maximizing what has worked; Leading Above the Death Line—building big buffers and margins of safety, ready for the next disruption; SMaC Behaviors—Specific, Methodical, and Consistent. – Highly Recommended!- CMW