The Change Makers: From Carnegie to Gates, How the Great Entrepreneurs Transformed Ideas into Industries

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From one of America's foremost business historians, a penetrating and engaging look at the qualities that create great entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs, even more than inventors, are essential to American business. While inventors produce ideas, entrepreneurs get things done, build the markets, make ideas reality. But what creative talents do the legendary American entrepreneurs share, and what can you learn from them about business success?

Using lively character sketches and company stories, University of Rhode Island professor and author Maury Klein analyzes how innovators from Andrew Carnegie to Bill Gates triumphed over perennial challenges in planning and strategy, production, operations, staffing, and sales--and transformed entire industries. Comparing the retailing acumen of J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart's Sam Walton, the organizational ingenuity of Standard Oil's John D. Rockefeller and Citigroup's Sandy Weill, the imaginative marketing of General Motors' Alfred Sloan and MacDonald's Ray Kroc, Klein reveals the art and archetype of successful entrepreneurialism. Moving beyond the clichés, he describes the artistry of great businessmen who build empires and dreams as well as fortunes, in The Change Makers.

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About the author

A professor at the University of Rhode Island, Maury Klein is one of today's most acclaimed business historians. He is the author of twelve books, including Rainbow's End and The Life and Legend of Jay Gould, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Times Books
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Published on
Sep 2, 2014
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781466879744
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Corporate & Business History
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

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In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the financial crisis, a baby-faced, seemingly mild-mannered Wharton grad began setting in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude--one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. His name is Jho Low, a man whose behavior was so preposterous he might seem made up.

An epic true-tale of hubris and greed, Billion Dollar Whale reveals how this young social climber pulled off one of the biggest heists in history--right under the nose of the global financial industry. Federal agents who helped unravel Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme say the 1MDB affair will become the textbook case of financial fraud in the modern age--and its fallout is already being credited for taking down the prime minister of Malaysia. With his yacht and private jet reportedly seized by authorities and facing money-laundering charges in Malaysia, an Interpol red notice, and an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice Investigation, Low has become an international fugitive.
For readers of Liar's Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood, Billion Dollar Whale will become a classic, harrowing parable about finance run amok.
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