How did Circuit City go from a Mom and Pop store with a mere $13,000 investment, to the best performing Fortune 500 Company for any 15-year period between 1965 and 1995, to bankruptcy and liquidation in 2009? What must leaders do not only to take a business from good to great, but to avoid plummeting from great to gone in a constantly evolving marketplace?
Alan Wurtzel, son of Circuit City founder Sam Wurtzel, took over as CEO in 1972 and implemented a successful long-term strategy that simplified the company by unloading unsuccessful acquisitions, expanded the few winning divisions, and preserved the distinct employee culture his father created, positioning the company for unprecedented success. For almost 50 years, Circuit City was able to successfully navigate the constant changes in the consumer electronics marketplace and meet consumer demand and taste preferences. But with the subsequent decline and ultimate demise of Circuit City in 2009, Wurtzel had the rare perspective of a former company insider in the role of an outsider looking in.
Believing that there is no singular formula for strategy, Wurtzel emphasizes the "Habits of Mind" that influence critical management decisions. With key takeaways at the end of each chapter, Wurtzel offers advice and guidance to ensure any business stays on track, even in the wake of disruption, a changing consumer landscape, and new competitors.
Part social history, part cautionary tale, and part business strategy guide, Good to Great to Gone: The 60 Year Rise and Fall of Circuit City features a memorable story with critical leadership lessons.
©2012 Alan Wurtzel (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Yes - beyond the Circuit City story, this is a solid business book
I was with Circuit City till the end - for me, the #1 benefit is understanding how this massive company could collapse. You hear things, but I put far too much blame on the leadership at the end, when in reality the issues were shared, and realistically the company was dead because when we were on top, we focused on wall street perception instead of dealing with the problems. At that moment, a different decision ... along with better choices in CEO and Board interaction would have turned it all around
"Lessons in life to be learn"
This book shows how courage and determination can open the gates of heaven to create an empire and also how the effort of many careless and insensitive people could destroy the hard work of many, also how lack of leadership on the critical moments in life can sink the biggest ship on the oceans
I may be biased since I worked as a Store Director for Circuit City for 7 years. I always knew at store level the decisions that affected our business. What was so surprising to hear were the decisions that were made at a corporate level, behind the scenes. So many opportunities for this great company to recover, were squandered. Circuit City will always remain near and dear to my heart.....I learned so much... And those learnings have helped me continue to be successful in my career. Such a shame though!
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