The Outsiders

Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

It's time to redefine the CEO success story.
Ask most people what describes an effective CEO, and you'll get a pretty consistent answer--"a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise." Magnify that through today's celebrity-saturated lens, and someone like former GE head Jack Welch becomes the poster child for CEO success: seasoned, but also charismatic, cutting-edge, and Wall-Street savvy. But is this the blueprint we should be following?
Not necessarily. The performance of Welch and other high-profile CEOs doesn't come close to the achievements of the CEOs profiled in "The Outsiders." Meet eight iconoclastic leaders who helmed firms where returns on average outperformed the S&P 500 by over "20 times." You may not know some of their names (Henry Singleton, Bill Anders, Tom Murphy)--but you will recognize many of their companies (General Cinema, Ralston Purina, The Washington Post Company, Berkshire Hathaway). In this book, you'll learn the consistent and rational traits that helped these select leaders achieve that exceptional performance.
Humble, unassuming, and often frugal, these "outsiders" shunned Wall Street and the press and shied away from hot management trends. Instead, they honed specific (and less sexy) characteristics including:
- a laser-sharp focus on per share value rather than sales or earnings
- an exceptional talent for allocating capital and human resources
- the belief that cash flow, not reported earnings, determines a company's long-term value
- a penchant for giving local managers autonomy to release entrepreneurial energy
Drawing on extensive research, Will Thorndike tells many of these leaders' stories for the first time--and extracts lessons for those of you hoping to lead your company to exceptional returns today.


William N. Thorndike is founder and a managing director of Housatonic Partners, a private equity firm. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business and has been a guest lecturer at the Harvard and Stanford business schools. He is a director of eight companies, and two not-for-profit organizations and lives in the Boston area with his wife and two children.

"#1 on Warren Buffett's Recommended Reading List" -- Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letter, 2012 ..".an important insider's perspective, an unapologetic glimpse into the hard-core investor view of what success looks like." -- Forbes.com "Thorndike wants to give any manager or business owner the confidence to occasionally do things differently from your peers ... to make the most of the cards they're dealt and to delight their shareholders." -- "Financial Times" "[Thorndike's] findings turn received wisdom about CEO success on its head. It's not revenue and profit growth, but the increase in a company's per share value that offers the ultimate barometer of a CEO's greatness... Thorndike may have discovered an alchemic formula for CEO success. But will existing CEOs listen?" -- "economia" "Thorndike has done extensive research on each of the people features, and their success story makes for an inspiring and most definitely, compelling read." -- "The Hindu" (India) "An extremely instructive read...well worth the effort." -- "Business Traveller" magazine "This is an eminently readable volume with plenty of lessons." -- "The Irish Times" ADVANCE PRAISE for "The Outsiders" Jim Collins, author, "Good to Great"; coauthor, "Built to Last" and "Great by Choice"--"Will Thorndike dissects an eclectic and fascinating group of business leaders who created exceptional long-term value. He takes the unique angle of examining great CEOs as chief allocators of capital, so disciplined in their empirical rationality as to be nonconformists in the very best sense. Thorndike's take is fresh, smart, and provocative--and well worth learning." Michael J. Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist, Legg Mason Capital Management; author, "The Success Equation"--"Will Thorndike provides management principles that are as rock solid as they are rare and shares the engaging stories of eight CEOs who lived by them. The ide
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Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 250
Erscheinungsdatum 23.10.2012
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-4221-6267-5
Verlag Harvard Business Review Press
Maße (L/B/H) 217/157/24 mm
Gewicht 402
Abbildungen mit Illustrationen
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Fr. 39.90
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