Chapter One

Why Read This Book?

The Good, the Great, and the Stupidus Maximus Award

In 2001 a book called Good to Great was published that profiled companies that were considered to have exemplary business practices.1 One of those companies was the electronics retail company Circuit City. Less than ten years after Good to Great was published, Circuit City was bankrupt, and its stock was delisted. How did such a high-performing company go so quickly from good to great to gone?

Many things contributed to the demise of Circuit City, but one action that stands out was the decision in 2007 to fire their most experienced employees and replace them with less-expensive newly hired staff. This move provided immediate financial benefits but created lasting ...

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