1Core Questions

DOI: 10.4324/9781003457398-2


Only sixty US companies on the 1955 Fortune 500 list are still in the top five hundred today. As independent businesses, 88 percent did not make it, but they were all large, successful enterprises run by determined people who were highly motivated to be winners.

The Fortune 100 company list offers a similar stark picture. From 1966 to 2006, two-thirds of the constituents on that list totally disappeared. Only one-third of those businesses survived for forty years, and just 20 percent of them are still on the top 100 list.1 The change in fortune for those ambitious businesses underlines how difficult it is to be effective and avoid making bad and sometimes catastrophic decisions. It raises ...

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