Suggested Reading

Why Smart Executives Fail

by Sydney Finkelstein

“Why Smart Executives Fail,” Sydney Finkelstein, explores corporate mistakes—what they are, why they occur, and what managers, leaders, and investors can do about them. All too often, once successful companies lose their luster and begin to stumble. This has happened at top companies like GM, Motorola, Quaker, and Sony, all of which have very smart, hard-working senior executives. How can you tell if it’s about to happen at your own company? In “Why Smart Executives Fail,” Finkelstein lays out the common causes behind failures in wildly different types of companies. He explains the seven habits of spectacularly unsuccessful people that drive smart managers to make catastrophic mistakes. As much about psychology as it is about business, “Why Smart Executives Fail” tells the stories of more than fifty great business disasters and includes interviews with many of their leaders, in which they explain what really led to their disastrous decisions.