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Built to Win: Inside Stories and Leadership Strategies from Baseball's Winningest GM Hardcover – April 2, 2006

19 customer reviews

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About the Author

John Schuerholz has been the general manager of the Atlanta Braves since 1990, and before that was the G.M. of the Kansas City Royals. He is the only General Manager in baseball to win a World Series championship in both leagues. Larry Guest is the author of Arnie: Inside the Legend, The Payne Stewart Story and many others.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (April 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446578681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446578684
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,670,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wilcy Moore on July 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, I've been a Braves fan for 30 years, so I appreciate the success of the Schuerholz era. Having said that, this book is really terrible.

Schuerholz comes across as a pompous blowhard who wants us to know that he IS the best dressed man in baseball ("dapper" & "stylish apparel" are used in the book), and that he and Tom Glavine know more about wine than idiots like Stan Kasten. In fact, we get three pages on a Chateau La Fleur Petrus Pomerol, vintage 1961 - oh yeah, that's great reading!! Add some incessant name dropping and a pile of Management 101 anecdotes and you get this opus of self-love.

I really thought I'd enjoy this book. It's too bad the big guy didn't stick to baseball and leave the management cliches for someone as impressed with the author's insights as the author himself. It's almost as if Schuerholz is desperately seeking his share of the credit for the success of the team; so much so that he tries to convince the reader that his management expertise is more responsible for the team's success than the organization Bobby Cox had in place when the author arrived in Atlanta. I'm not buying it, John - even though I was dumb enough to buy this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book with the hope of some kind of insight, and some good stories.

It's a decent book, but I could care less about John Schuerholz the poet, I bought the book for baseball.

I was very disappointed, it seems like another book that is an attempt to destroy "Moneyball" in the book market, but fails miserably.

I love the Braves, but left this book feeling pretty disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. torres on May 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Wow, with all due respect to John Scherholz this book is just a waste of time....The number of contradictions and arrogant comments are just too much....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on August 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Though the Atlanta Braves will probably not make the playoffs

this year after having done so the previous 14 seasons, I am

still amazed by the team's success . . . and wanted to find

out more about how it was made possible.

So when I saw that the Braves' GM, John Schuerholz, had a

book out--BUILT TO WIN, written with

Larry Guest--I obtained it with the hope of learning even some

of his secrets . . . after reading it, methinks I came across

with several ideas that I can apply not only in my teaching but

in life as well.

Schuerholz uses many baseball examples, which may turn

off some potential readers . . . however, what he says applies

to virtually any company or organization . . . in particular, I liked

his five principles for building a winning team in any endeavor:

1. Create a new vision.

2. Establish organizational goals.

3. Develop a roadmap, or game plan, if you prefer, for success.

4. Inspired the staff.

5. Provide the leadership.

I also liked his advice on how to tell a winner from a loser:

A winner says, "Let's find out." A loser says, "Nobody knows."

When a winner makes a mistake, he says, "I was wrong." When a loser

makes a mistake, he says, "It wasn't my fault."

A winner says, "I'm good, but not as good as I ought to be." A loser says,

"I'm not as bad as a lot of other people."

A winner tries to learn from those who are superior to him. A loser tries to

tear down those who are superior to him.

A winner says, "There ought to be a better way to do it.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Koenig on January 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
As I began reading this book, I figured that it would explain the inside stories of how the Atlanta Braves were so successful from 1991-2005. The book tries to do this, but does so in completely the wrong fashion, making it an incredibly boring read.

Instead of describing the interesting deals/performances/stories that likely characterized those classic Braves teams, John Schuerholz instead spews out little more than inspirational quotes and philosophical points of view that, though they may contribute to his success, are unique to him and thus not inherently interesting. Schuerholz is trying to lay out the "basic mindset" of a winning GM, but what he doesn't realize is that each GM/organization (even the winning ones) goes through different methods of building a good team.

The book begins with a little story about how Barry Bonds nearly became an Atlanta Brave, then trails off into an unnecessarily harsh criticism of Oakland GM Billy Beane's "Moneyball" philosophy (stupid due to the fact that Beane has had just as much success with the model as Schuerholz) and finally descends into little more than Schuerholz spouting quotes about "winning" for the next 100-200 pages. There is no context to the stories told in the book. In fact, I found the only interesting part of the entire book to be the last 10 or so pages, where each Braves team (from 1991-2005) is given a quick summary. Had the entire book been about that, I would be giving it a much better review!

Thus, please DO NOT begin reading this book if you are expecting great Braves baseball stories. You will likely enjoy this book much more than I if you are into inspirational memoirs, but otherwise stay away.
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