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Think Big, Act Small: How America's Best Performing Companies Keep the Start-Up Spirit Aliveby Jason Jennings
Synopses & Reviews
Tradition says there are three ways to grow a company’s profits: Fire up the sales team with empty promises, cut costs and downsize, or cook the books. But what if there’s a better way—a way that nine amazingly profitable and well-run companies are already embracing?
Jason Jennings and his research team screened more than 100,000 American companies to find nine that rarely end up on magazine covers, yet have increased revenues and profits by ten percent or more for ten consecutive years. Then they interviewed the leaders, workers, and customers of these quiet superstars to find the secrets of their astoundingly consistent and profitable growth.
What they have in common is a culture—a community—based on a shockingly simple precept: Think big, but act small. It works for retailers like PETCO, Cabela’s, and O’Reilly Automotive, manufacturers like Medline Industries, service companies like Sonic Drive-In, private educational companies like Strayer, industrial giants like Koch Enterprises, and software companies like SAS.
These companies think big ideas about solving customers’ problems, making better products, and creating value. And yet they never stop acting like start-ups—staying humble, treating every employee like the owner, and teaching managers to get their hands dirty.
Why the best companies never stop acting like start-ups.
Acclaimed management guru Jason Jennings and his research team screened more than 100,000 companies to find nine that have increased revenues and profits by 10 percent or more for ten consecutive years. After interviewing the leaders, workers, and customers of these quiet superstars, they discovered that these companies all have one thing in common: they think big, but act small.
These companies are highly ambitious about solving customers' problems, making better products, and creating value. Yet they never stop acting like startups-staying humble, treating every employee like an owner, and teaching managers to get their hands dirty.
Jennings shows readers how to apply the best practices of these nine superstar companies.
Is it possible for a company to grow its revenues and profits by 10 percent or more for at least ten consecutive years, not counting acquisitions? That's an incredibly high bar for growth and profitability, one that 99.99 percent of American companies can?t meet? including the famous ones that routinely land on magazine covers.
Management expert Jason Jennings screened 100,000 companies to identify nine little- known firms that have delivered stellar performance for a full decade or more, despite the ups and downs of the economy. And, as he reveals in his new book, these superstars have a lot in common despite their wide range of industries, which includes software, food services, medical supplies, and sporting goods.
It turns out that the best long-term performers all combine the strengths of a big organization with the hunger of a start-up. They build excellent relationships with their customers, suppliers, workers, and shareholders. They groom future leaders at all levels. They balance their short-term goals with their long-term visions. And they teach their managers to get their hands dirty.
Jennings did extensive interviews at his nine featured companies to find out exactly how they consistently increase revenue and profits without using manipulation or gimmickry. He reveals their unique approach to leadership and shows how any company, no matter what size or industry, can benefit from following their examples.
Think Big, Act Small may be the most powerful management book since Good to Great and Execution.
About the Author
Jason Jennings is an in-demand speaker and the bestselling author of four highly acclaimed leadership and management books, including Less Is More. He and his family split their time between the San Francisco area and Michigan's northern peninsula.
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