The Breakthrough Imperative
The Breakthrough Imperative
The Breakthrough Imperative
More about the book
The authors
Related writings
For the media
Mark Gottfredson & Steve Schaubert Buy the book  |  |  Contact

Leaders today must perform or perish.

Every new general manager today—all the way up to the CEO—is expected by his stakeholders to achieve new breakthroughs in performance—and fast. Those who don't make visible progress toward that goal within the first year or two years will likely find themselves looking for another job. It is precisely because of this growing breakthrough imperative that managers today, whether in corporations or nonprofits, need to get off to a fast start. They don't have time for mistakes, or for going back and redoing what they should have done right in the first place.

But despite the intensity of these pressures, despite the high expectations and short time frames, a number of CEOs and general managers turn in truly exceptional results. How do they meet and exceed the breakthrough imperative? To answer this question, Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert, consultants and former managers themselves, interviewed more than 40 CEOs from both industry and the nonprofit sector, conducted an intensive study of what successful managers do right—and the rest do wrong—and drew on their own combined 50-plus years of experience at Bain & Company, where their insights have consistently been found in the pages of the Harvard Business Review. Together they came up with the straightforward principles—deceptively simple yet remarkably powerful—that everyone must follow if they're to succeed at achieving breakthrough results:

  1. Costs and prices always decline
  2. Market position dictates strategy
  3. Profit pools don't stand still
  4. Simplicity gets results
Although seemingly simplistic, mastering these four laws means mastering the basics of great management—a foundation on which to build the rest of one's management strategy. Whether you're managing one assistant, or a multinational corporation, a single division, or an entire nonprofit, The Breakthrough Imperative presents these core laws of business to set you on the road to stellar results.

Also available on

Bain & Company