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Top Secret

What do the leaders of top companies have in common? Learn their secrets.

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This story appears in the June 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Jason Jennings sorted through 70,000 American companies to findnine whose consistent growth in profits and revenue put them in thetop one-hundredth of 1 percent. After studying each in depth,including interview-ing top leaders, he reports what makes them sospecial in Think Big Act Small (Portfolio,$24.95).

So what's the most striking commonality among the excellentnine? They all have humble leaders who are willing to get theirhands dirty. Jennings points to CEOs of companies like NorthCarolina's SAS Software and Virginia's Strayer EducationInc., both billion-dollar enterprises where members of the topbrass routinely do grunt-level work.

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