The Founder's Mentality
How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth
A Washington Post Bestseller
Three Principles for Managingand Avoidingthe Problems of Growth
Why is profitable growth so hard to achieve and sustain? Most executives manage their companies as if the solution to that problem lies in the external environment: find an attractive market, formulate the right strategy, win new customers.
But when Bain & Company's Chris Zook and James Allen, authors of the bestselling Profit from the Core , researched this question, they found that when companies fail to achieve their growth targets, 90 percent of the time the root causes are internal, not externalincreasing distance from the front lines, loss of accountability, proliferating processes and bureaucracy, to name only a few. What's more, companies experience a set of predictable internal crises, at predictable stages, as they grow. Even for healthy companies, these crises, if not managed properly, stifle the ability to grow furtherand can actively lead to decline.
The key insight from Zook and Allen's research is that managing these choke points requires a founder's mentality"behaviors typically embodied by a bold, ambitious founderto restore speed, focus, and connection to customers:
- An insurgent's clear mission and purpose
- An unambiguous owner mindset
- A relentless obsession with the front line
Based on the authors' decade-long study of companies in more than forty countries, The Founder's Mentality demonstrates the strong relationship between these three traits in companies of all kindsnot just start-upsand their ability to sustain performance. Through rich analysis and inspiring examples, this book shows how any leadernot only a foundercan instill and leverage a founder's mentality throughout their organization and find lasting, profitable growth.
"a thoughtful and well-researched exploration of challenges faced by companies as they scale, with practical lessons for founders seeking long-term sustainable growth for their company." -- Inc. magazine"This is a very thoughtful and assured exploration of a key challenge that faces all organisations as they scale that will interest founders and those concerned about the long-term health of their organisations." -- Irish Times While speed, innovation, big data, and disruption are the business buzzwords of the day, the best books of 2016 argue for a more considered and considerate, human-centered, inclusive, and deliberately constructive approach to business. Change is in the air and technology is on the rise, but business is still a human pursuit, and should be humane. In a media climate dominated by Twitterstorms and sound bites, it is important to dive deeper into the issues and inform ourselves more fully before taking action. These books help do that." Editorial Director Dylan Schleicher on the 800-CEO-READ 2016 Business Book of the Year Longlist, which includes THE FOUNDER'S MENTALITY
As a founder myself, I get it. I care about my company so much. I understand what it means to have a founder around. ... I think your book is so interesting, so right on." J.J. Abrams, MSNBC's Your Business"
"In a good book, I look for people who have made a ton of mistakes, so I can learn from them. One of the observations in The Founder's Mentality [by Chris Zook and James Allen] is that founder-led companies in general perform better on the stock market." Chieh Huang, cofounder and CEO of Boxed on what he reads at 30,000 feet, as seen in Forbes
Chris Zook and James Allen have done a fine job of putting this theory into words. Their book, The Founder's Mentality is the product of a lot of research, and thousands of hours of experience by these two senior Bain partners." Management Today , UK
Fascinating and worth noting." Amanda Lang, Bloomberg GO
If your company isn't soaring as anticipated, look inside not out. Chances are your problems aren't due to market forces but rather issues such as a distancing from core principles, becoming deaf to your consumer's voice and sometimes a founder not empowering his people. These are some of the insights gleaned from The Founder's Mentality ." USA Today
Summer is here, and everyone needs a business book or two to read. I'm recommending The Founder's Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth by two very senior partners and strategy practice heads at Bain & CompanyChris Zook and James Allen. Forbes.com
Excellent ... Zook and Allen's book focuses on how to manage the following dilemma: How can we manage growth without destroying what made us great? ... The Founder's Mentality causes us to appreciate the brilliance of an IKEA and to take practical steps to keep the Founder's Mentality at the forefront of the way we define strategy, the way we hire front line people, and the way we design compensation systems." Psychology Today
Chris Zook and James Allen are known for their books on strategy ... Their new book [ The Founder's Mentality ] is a departure in the sense that they turn their attention, for the first time, from external strategy to internal , but it continues their now fifteen-year bent of focusing on companies' roots in the process of helping them in periods of growth. ... In that sense, Zook and Allen are staying true to their own coretheir core research on how companies grow, which is immense and impressive, and their core purpose of helping leaders through that process. The other consistency across all their books is the great blend of research and storytelling." 800-CEO-READ (Editor's Choice)
The founder mentality mixes passion with chutzpah for success...The result of this mentality is a bonus for sharehold