Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Winning Now, Winning Later

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Winning Now, Winning Later

How Companies Can Succeed in the Short Term While Investing for the Long Term

HarperCollins Leadership,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn to build a successful business in the short and long term from former Honeywell CEO David Cote.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


Driven by market demands for continually improving short-term profits, many businesses sacrifice long-term growth in favor of bolstering their quarterly numbers. But it doesn’t have to be that way, argues David Cote, former CEO of the Honeywell multinational conglomerate. Drawing on his experience of turning Honeywell from a failing $20 billion business into a thriving $120 billion enterprise, he challenges leaders to embed strategic thinking into their everyday decision-making and create a culture that will allow their organization to grow successfully, continuously and sustainably while still delivering short-term results.


Apply intellectual rigor to business decisions to achieve short- and long-term results.

Many business leaders believe that hitting short-term goals and investing in the long term are mutually exclusive. They wonder, for example, if they can achieve their projected quarterly numbers – a short-term objective – while also paying attention to long-run performance. Considering the immediate and future implications of a business decision requires intellectual rigor; it necessitates broadening your decision-making frame of reference beyond the factors immediately in front of you.

If those at the top act as role models for this intellectual mindset and expect others to meet that standard, it will permeate throughout the organization. Former Honeywell CEO David Cote believes leading is fundamentally an “intellectual activity.” He urges leaders to become “scholars” of their organization, and to invest time researching and understanding their businesses.

Spend time with people at every level, in particular those at the front line. Ask probing questions – and expect well-argued and considered answers. Request numbers to back up proposals...

About the Author

Former chairman and CEO of Honeywell David M. Cote is executive chairman of Vertiv Holdings Co., a member of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, and a board member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Conference of Montreal. Barron’s ranked him among the World’s Best CEOs for five years.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Learners who read this summary also read