How to Fail in Business (& Life)

June 14, 2015

Many roads lead to success, but only a few to ruin.

Jim Collins studied great companies that fell.
And his path to failure:

1. Hubris born of success (arrogance)
2. Undisciplined pursuit of more (we’re great, we can do anything)
3. Denial of risk and peril (ignoring warning signs)
4. Grasping for salvation (last ditch hail mary pass)
5. Capitulation to irrelevance or death

Don Keough was the famed former COO & director of Coca Cola.
“Don’s commandments for failure will teach you more about business success than a whole shelf full of books” – Bill Gates

1. Quit taking risks
2. Be inflexible
3. Isolate yourself
4. Assume infallibility
5. Play the game close to the foul line
6. Don’t take time to think
7. Put all your faith in experts and outside consultants
8. Love your bureaucracy
9. Send mixed messages
10. Be afraid of the future
11. Lose your passion for work – for life

“After a lifetime in business I’ve never been able to develop a step-by-step formula that will guarantee success. What I could do, however, was talk about how to lose. I guarantee that anyone who follows my formula will be a highly successful loser.”
– Don Keough

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1. How The Mighty Fall – Jim Collins
2. The Ten Commandments of Business Failure – Don Keough