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Extended Audio Sample Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters, by Richard Rumelt Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (383 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Rumelt Narrator: Sean Runnett Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader, whether the CEO at a Fortune 100 company, an entrepreneur, a church pastor, the head of a school, or a government official. Richard Rumelt argues that the heart of a good strategy is insight—into the true nature of the situation, into the hidden power in a situation, and into an appropriate response. He shows you how insight can be cultivated with a wide variety of tools for guiding your own thinking.

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy integrates fascinating examples from business, nonprofit, and military affairs to bring its original ideas to life: From Apple to General Motors, from the two Iraq wars to Afghanistan, from a small local market to Wal-Mart, from the Getty Trust to the Los Angeles Unified School District, from Global Crossing to the 2007-08 financial crisis, and many more. The abundance of business-ready insights offered by Rumelt stem from his decades of digging beyond the superficial to address hard questions with honesty and integrity.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nora | 2/15/2014

    " Advanced common sense. Once he writes down what a good strategy is and isn't, it seems obvious. However, that comes from his skill in cutting through the complexities of each example to focus on "What's really going on here". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Cindy Brandt | 2/7/2014

    " Felt the book could've been summed up in one chapter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Roger Haskins | 2/7/2014

    " Well worth the read. It spends about as much time explaining what is not strategy, which is good, but more than likely painful for most business leaders. Also explains clearly the concepts that are often overlooked, but ought to be included in the formulation of a sound strategy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by John | 1/30/2014

    " I have very mixed feelings on this book. I found the first section, particularly Ch 5 on the "kernel" tremendously thought provoking. I was struck and inspired by the challenge to the more common approaches to strategic planning. Creating a discipline of identifying a diagnosis, guiding policy and coordinated action resonated and convicted me. The second section was a potpourri of various thoughts, some helpful, some not. The chapters on leverage, focus, and chain linked systems were best. I'm not sure what the third section was...Rumelt lost his way a bit. This was a case of a few brilliant articles trying to be forced into a book. A few other criticisms: 1) Rumelt overemphasizes military strategy. Command and control, single leader environments are the huge exception these days and therefore not particularly instructive to the average leader. It also excludes the large majority of what leadership is...creating alignment, inspiring, attuning emotions, developing people.. Maybe that was outside the scope of the book but some may come away thinking leadership is sitting in an ivory tower and designing complex strategies...not at all the case. 2) Rumelt clearly is an engineering expert but needs to stay away from church and philosophical history. His explanations of the reformation and the enlightenment were way off. 3) The author is clearly very proud of his consulting pedigree but the name dropping, the "I called every crash", the "I told you so" was brutal to read. Admittedly, this may have jaded me by the time I got to the third section. It left a very poor taste in my mouth. Nonetheless, all warts aside, I strongly commend the first section to any current or aspiring leader. "

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About the Author

Richard Rumelt is a professor of business and society at UCLA Anderson, a graduate school of business and management. In addition to his academic work, he has been a consultant to numerous firms, non-profit organizations, the Department of Defense, and several governments. Rumelt earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He studied decision sciences and corporate strategy at the Harvard Business School, receiving his doctorate in 1972. He is married to Kate Rumelt who was once a strategy professor but is today a prize-winning fabric artist specializing in three-dimensional geometric forms.