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Why Smart Executives Fail: And What You Can Learn from Their Mistakes
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Why Smart Executives Fail: And What You Can Learn from Their Mistakes

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  139 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Bob Pittman and AOL Time Warner. Jean Marie Messier and Vivendi. Jill Barad and Mattel. Dennis Kozlowski and Tyco. 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 Fortune. Two years later, the company is in flames, the pension plan is bleeding, the stock is worthless. What goes wrong i ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by Portfolio (first published June 2nd 2003)
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Dec 24, 2011 Jay rated it it was ok
If insights such as "Ask Questions" and "Make sure you earn more revenue than you spend" are new to you, then check out this book. For the other 99% of us, stay away.

Ko Matsuo
Aug 15, 2014 Ko Matsuo rated it really liked it
Great book explaining the paradox of how success can breed failure. Good examples of how business success can lead to a culture of superiority, which in turn leads to a distorted picture of reality and information breakdown. Really good discussion about how to compensate for corporate delusions.

A reminder that good product managers balance internal company pride with a healthy paranoia of not only the competition, but also of current company strategy.
Christopher Luna
Jun 06, 2009 Christopher Luna rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Excellent resource that delves into the reasons behind the fall of top executives. A key theme throughout the book is that all of these executives were extremely smart, effective, experienced leaders who simply made some bad decisions for various reasons (based on faulty assumptions). Good read for anyone looking to go into long or short term management, or for those who want to know how and why some of the corporate giants fell.
Kokopelli's Flute
May 06, 2015 Kokopelli's Flute rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
The value of the book lies in the real-world examples of failures by business leaders and corporations. On the other hand, much of the analysis and recommendations that follow are nothing new. Additionally, these latter sections could have been written in a more concise manner.
Pankaj Kumar
Jul 19, 2016 Pankaj Kumar rated it liked it
I started reading this book towards the end of my business school. It discusses some interesting real life cases that one can take a cue from, though in real life such cases can barely be any guideline or standard practice. But overall an interesting read with some good cases to refer to.
Jan 31, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good collection of case studies and supporting analysis on the title topic. He's an academic and writes that way, but his analysis is clear and to the point.
Jun 09, 2008 Cris rated it really liked it
Powerful real examples of colossal failure not from greed, but definitely engaged egos. Would love a sequel!
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