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September 7, 2006

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects: Success Built to Last

By: Jack @ 1:29 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters
by Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery, Mark Thompson, Wharton School Publishing, 304 pages, $22.99 hardcover, ISBN 013228751X
In 1994, Jerry Porras and Jim Collins wrote an important and very successful book called Built to Last. The duo wrote about enduring companies and the qualities that made them exceptional. Collins went on to write the equally popular Good to Great.
Success Built to Last is Porras' follow-up. In this book, rather than looking at companies, Porras, Emery and Thompson talk to peoplevery successful peopleto find out what made them so. The candidates had to have been successful for at least 20 years. This left them with a potential list of about 1000 people. 200 personal interviews were conducted over the last ten years and the results form the basis for the book.
Early in the book, the authors talk about meaning and the importance of finding passion: "Listen up---here's some really bad news: It's dangerous not to do what you love. The harsh truth is that if you don't love what you're doing, you'll lose to someone who does!...This person will work harder and longer. They will outrun you."
They talked to Larry Bossidy, and this point also came up with him. "It's a competitive imperative. Only by loving what you do will you actually do more and do it better than the person sitting next to you."
You will find familiar themes in this book, and while it may be easy to say you have heard these ideas before, I would encourage you to look for the nuances. Porras and Company have spent a decade getting at what success means and how you can achieve it too.