Why Smart Executives Fail

Why Smart Executives Fail

And What You Can Learn from Their Mistakes

Format
ePub
Price
$13.99
 
Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9781101118238
  • 336 Pages
  • Portfolio
  • Adult

Overview

It’s an all too common scenario: A great company breaks from the pack; the analysts are in love, the smiling CEO appears on the cover of BusinessWeek and Fortune, the stock soars. Two years later, the company is in flames, the CEO is under attack, and the stock has tanked.

Why does this sort of thing keep happening at respectable companies like Motorola, Quaker, and Sony, all of which have very smart, hard-working senior executives? And how can you tell if it’s about to happen at your own company?

Why Smart Executives Fail answers these and many more crucial questions. Sydney Finkelstein, a distinguished professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, carried out a six-year study of leadership failure, the largest of its kind. After hundreds of interviews with insiders at top companies that got into major trouble—such as GM, Mattel, and RiteAid—Finkelstein figured out the common causes behind failures in wildly different types of companies. He explains “the seven habits of spectacularly unsuccessful people” that drive smart managers to make catastrophic mistakes.

As much about psychology as it is about business, Why Smart Executives Fail tells the stories of more than fifty great business disasters and includes exclusive interviews with many of their leaders, in which they explain what really led to their disastrous decisions.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface

1. Why Smart Executives Fail
What Can Studying Failure Tell You?

Part I: Great Corporate Mistakes
2. New Business Breakdowns
Stories of New Ventures That Don’t Work…and Why

3. Innovation and Change
Choosing Not to Cope

4. Mergers and Acquisitions
The Search for Synergy, the Quest for Integration

Strategy Gone Bad: Doing the Wrong Thing
Why Strategists Misread Competitors and Select “Irrational” Strategies

Part II: The Causes of Failure
6. Brilliantly Fulfilling the Wring Vision
How Executive Mind-set Failures Push Businesses to the Brink…and Beyond

7. Delusions of a Dream Company
How Executives Avoid Facing Reality

8. Tracking Down the Lost Signals
Why Businesses Don’t Act on Vital Information

9. Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful People
The Personal Qualities of Leaders Who Preside over Major Business failures

Part III: Learning From Mistakes
10. Predicting the Future
The Early Warning Signs

11. How Smart Executives Learn
Living-and Surviving-in a World of Mistakes

Notes
Index

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