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Built to Win: Inside Stories and Leadership Strategies from Baseball's Winningest GM Paperback – April 3, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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 ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got this book ahead of meeting John Schuerholz. He tells his amazing story with such heart. And it turns out he is as charming and kind a gentleman as you could ever hope to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Devin Strong
You can take most of the reviews and average them out. This is not a great book. But John Schuerholz is a baseball executive not a writer -- No matter how much he tries to bore... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Andrew P Bennett
This book is not for everybody. However, it is very good to help you think through things that come up in a business. It is not for just baseball. Read morePublished on February 12, 2010 by Charles M. Jetmore
Every now and then Schuerholz will offer up some inside info on different trades, almost trades (Barry Bonds nearly traded to Atlanta, for example), and free agent signings that... Read morePublished on December 5, 2008 by B. Caudill
I picked up a copy of the book at the local Dollar store and I am glad I didn't pay full price for it. Read morePublished on August 11, 2008 by W. Rudd
John Schuerholz' book reads as if it was directly dictated to his writer. There are bland recollections of several decades in baseball, but the general themes seems to be pointing... Read morePublished on November 3, 2007 by UpperWestSal
As a long-time baseball fan who has heard all the interviews and read a lot of baseball books, I fully expected "Built To Win" to be a rah-rah, gung-ho baseball book in the spirit... Read morePublished on April 7, 2007 by B.F. Spink
A great "bio" of the streak of the Braves. If you're a die-hard Braves fan, you'll love this book. If you're into the management of baseball, you'll love it as well.Published on February 21, 2007 by S. Hammock