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

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9781591840107: Why Smart Executives Fail: And What You Can Learn from Their Mistakes
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Identifies companies that made critical business mistakes that resulted in their downfalls soon after receiving recognition as successful empires, inviting corporate leaders to learn from the examples of others in order to avoid common vulnerabilities. 60,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Sydney Finkelstein is a professor of strategy and leadership at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. His writing has appeared in the Harvard Business Review and other business journals.

From Publishers Weekly:

Is there a more timely topic for a business book than brilliant executives running their companies into the ground? Dartmouth business professor Finkelstein has been on the case for six years, researching how otherwise intelligent people can manage to botch things up. Here, he dredges up old corporate screwups (like R. J. Reynolds's smokeless cigarettes) and new ones, too (WorldCom and Tyco, among others). There's a certain amount of schadenfreude involved, as the author crisply and incisively picks apart disaster after disaster, but the lessons drawn from this lengthy study are, for the most part, vastly unsurprising. While each company profiled tends to fail in its own way, there are common traits among top execs, such as a propensity to eliminate "anyone who isn't 100 percent behind them" and to "underestimate major obstacles." While Finkelstein suggests avoiding such destructive behaviors, the truth is, sometimes it's human nature to be blind to one's own weaknesses. And that's a mystery no book can fully deconstruct.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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