Lesson 1: Fanatic discipline is a trait of great companies.

Collins uses the story of the two most prominent pilgrimages to the South Pole, both started simultaneously in 1910

One not only reached the South Pole first but also returned home safe and sound, while the other, in addition to losing the race, never made it back.

What set Roald Amundsen‘s winning team apart, was mainly one single rule they obeyed during their journey: They would walk 20 miles every single day, no matter the weather conditions.

On bad days, they had to battle to reach those 20 miles. On good days, they had to hold themselves back to not go further.

But in doing this, they preserved their energy and could manage their resources a lot better and consistently make headway.

The competitors walked as far as they could, exerted all their energy and when critical conditions hit, had none left.

This story has sparked the now common notion of “The 20 Mile March”, which is exactly what great companies rely on, says Collins.

They set long-term goals, like a portfolio of 100 products, a certain growth rate per year, or testing 50 innovations, and then consistently take action on a day-to-day basis to reach them.

That’s why habits are the route to being successful.

… to be continued

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