Why are some companies able to achieve success, even under difficult circumstances, whereas others struggle and face problems? The results of this large-scale study of over 1,100 companies in 10 countries and interviews with some of the most successful leaders are clear. Success does not depend so much on market characteristics or industry attractiveness. The company's fate is largely self-determined, it depends on a handful of features of the firm itself that are completely in the top-management's sphere of influence.The book looks at the pillars of success of high-performing companies, and how they perform in areas such as innovativeness, market orientation, core competencies and leadership and entrepreneurship culture. Many examples from a wide variety of industries and interviews with top-managers, such us Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe, CEO Nestle, Rene Obermann, CEO Deutsche Telekom, Markus Langes-Swarovski, Swarovski, give insights into the secrets of success of top-performers.