How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins (Notes)

With Built to Last, Good to Great, and now How the Mighty Fall (And Why Some Companies Never Give In), Stanford professor and best-selling author Jim Collins inspires, challenges, and equips leaders of companies, non-profit organizations, and churches with thorough research and helpful insights.

Here are some highlights from one of his lesser known books which looks at the five stages of decline so that leaders can “reduce the chances of falling all the way to the bottom…” and showing that “the mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.”

“Organizational decline is largely self- inflicted, and recovery largely within our own control.”

“It’s far better to create your own future, repeatedly, than to wait for external forces to dictate your own choices.”

“If you want to reverse decline, be rigorous about what not to do.”

“A return to greatness depended on both tough cost-cutting and long-term investment, and actually increased R&D as a percentage of sales during the darkest days.”

“The right leaders feel a sense of urgency in good times and bad, whether facing threat or opportunity, no matter what.”

“We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our setbacks, our history, our mistakes, or even staggering defeats along the way. We are freed by our choices.”

For a previous post on Built to Last, go here.

For an online assessment about moving from Good to Great, go here.

(For more notes on Collins’ book How the Mighty Fall, send an email to me at with “How the Mighty Fall Notes” as the subject. You will also receive free resources through my monthly email newsletter.)

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