Chapter 10

Success (and Failure) Stories

“Who would have thought that FannieMae would beat companies like GEand Coca-Cola? Or that Walgreenscould beat Intel? The surprising list—adowdier group would be hard to find—taught us a key lesson right up front. Itis possible to turn good into great in themost unlikely of situations.”1

—Jim Collins, Good to Great

Depending on your criteria for evaluating a company’s merits, just about any company could be defined as a success story. Even a bankrupt company could be viewed as an emotional success story if the employees were “doing what they loved.”

In this chapter, I hold to a more stringent definition of success, and it revolves around a single word: sustainability. To determine the sustainability of ...

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