Discipline of Market Leaders

Review of 
Discipline of Market Leaders

by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema

Discipline of Market Leaders

Highlights by David Willden

Michael Treacy, a former professor and Ph.D from MIT, today is a highly sought-after speaker for executive audiences. He is internationally known as a world expert on corporate strategy and business process transformation. Fred Wiersema,a former professor with a doctorate from Harvard Business School, travels world-wide delivering keynote talks, and consults with Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial firms on strategy.

The book, The Disciple of Market Leaders, provides helpful, easy to understand, and compelling insights into the different strategies and operating models of the market leaders. The book discusses Nike, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Harley Davidson, Intel and countless other leaders, and identifies their keys. Below are highlights from the book:

Identify Your Operating Model

Market leaders accept the fact that they cannot be the best in everything. Your company won't succeed if you try to be all things to all people. You need to decide upon and master one of three operating models, best total cost, best product or best total solution.

 Best Total Cost

To provide the "best total cost" is to offer the best price with the least hassle.      Wal-Mart is a n example here. They focus on the mass market. They strive to offer the lowest price possible, and focus on reliable and efficiency. Toyota is another example. Toyota cars are reliable and may run 200,000 to 300,000 miles. So Toyota customers recommend their cars, and often purchase another Toyota.

Best Product

To provide the "best product" is to focus on customers that will pay top dollars for top quality and performance. Customers pay more for Intel products, because of their high performance.


Best Total Solution

To provide the best total solution is focus on solving the client's problems. It is to consistently go the extra mile for the customers. For example, Airborne focuses on helping its clients to optimize their overall logistic operations.

Four Rules for Market Leaders

Focusing on the strategy is one thing, but realizing your vision is another. Michael and Fred review four rules that are needed:

  1. Provide the market's best offering by excelling in one of the three dimensions of value.
  2. Maintain threshold standards on other dimensions of value.
  3. Dominate your market by improving value year after year.
  4. Build a well-tuned operating model dedicated to delivering the chosen value dimension.

Discipline of Market Leaders