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How to Be a Fierce Competitor: What Winning Companies and Great Managers Do in Tough Times Hardcover – March 15, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Fox (How to Become a Rainmaker) explores the best practices of fierce competitors and how they gain market share, seize opportunity, and win when the stakes are the highest. With multiple bulleted lists of key action items, he swiftly covers a wide array of timely topics, including why bad times are actually good times, the benefits of piling up cash in tough times, and being cautious while showing fearlessness. He also encourages executives to play relevant “what if” games, always have a plan, stay off magazine covers, and be obsessive about execution. Of particular value are the sections on employee relations, which offer counterintuitive actions that reap big rewards on reserved executive parking spots, unionization, nurturing those hired and acquired, pruning dead wood, and cutting out all bureaucracy. This concise book will give motivated managers and executives the guidance they need to successfully bring their organizations to the next level. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly, January 25, 2010)

"The new book is comprised of 60 Chapters. You could read it in a sitting, or more likely, a flight from New York to Chicago. And as with every Jeff Fox book and every Jeff Fox page, you might wish it was printed on only one side of each page, so you could take the entire book apart and paste the pages all over your office and even your bathroom. This is stuff you want to remember and use and share with your colleagues every day, because there is no way you can follow Fox's advice and not succeed in business and in life."
—Huffington Post, March 12, 2010-03-24

"This concise book will give motivated managers and executives the guidance they need to successfully bring their organizations to the next level."
—Publishers Weekly, January 1, 2010

About the Author

Jeffrey J. Fox is the founder and president of Fox & Company, Inc., a marketing consulting firm that specializes in marketing strategy development, innovation, enhancement, and selling skills training. In addition, Fox is a popular speaker and the acclaimed author of a series of hard-hitting international business best-sellers, How to Become CEO, How to Become a Rainmaker, and Secrets of Great Rainmakers among others. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470408545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470408544
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. Lo on May 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I brought this one used since I liked Fox's other books on being CEO, sales, marketing, etc.
This one is like a rehash and sounds trite. I read the first few pages and pretty much threw it away.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very relevant book to read in a time of economic recession, but its also a book I would recommend reading even during a time of economic boom. The author spells out in clear cut terms what activities and behaviors work to make a business a fierce competitor and more importantly a successful business. I like the use of stories, but I also like the author's bluntness. The book is easy to read and to the point, but you will learn a lot in each chapter you read.
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Format: Hardcover
In case you want to read something helpful to your business but cannot afford hours to complete a 200 page book, this complilation of 60 concise and independent business/leadership passages fits you well. The advice is applicable and memorable, thanks to the brilliant writing skill of the author who had put intelligent yet common sense advice (common sense is not that common afterall) into simple words and interesting sentences. A good book indeed! Recommended!

p.s. Below please find some favorite passages of mine for your reference.

The single biggest difference between leaders and managers is the tolerance for ambiguity. Leaders can deal with ambiguity, can deal with not having all the facts, not having all the data. Leaders can make decisions, big decisions, midcrisis decisions, without certainty of the outcome. Managers cant......Leaders respond and act. They may be wrong, but they don't dither, dawdle, delay. They decide. Pg12
Great marketers sell what the customer gets from the product. Rolex doesn't sell time, it sell status....Titlist doesn't sell golf balls, it sells lower golf scores. Harley Davidson doesn't sell motorcycles, it sells individualism. Pfizer doesn't sell pills, it sell cures. Pg14
Never let anyone outwork you. It is noteworthy that he or she who is in the proverbial "right place at the right time" is the hardest worker. Pg23
Someone, somewhere, is making a product that will make your product obsolete. The message: never stop improving, adapting, innovating. Be ever fearful of the obsolescing technology, the vanishing market, the changing playing fields. pg27
Willie Pep, the greatest featherweight boxer to ever live,... on July 25, 1945, won a three minute boxing round without throwing a single punch.
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Format: Hardcover
Apparently Jeffrey Fox agrees with Susan Scott (author of Fierce Conversations and then Fierce Leadership) that the word "fierce" has positive as well as negative synonyms, such as robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager, unbridled, uncurbed, and untamed. It is important to add that, for both Scott and Fox, fierce competitors are highly-principled, play by the rules, welcome challenges, follow what Bill George characterizes as their "True North," embrace opportunities, and consider it a privilege to serve those entrusted to their care, especially customers. According to Fox, fierce organizations are defined by key people - at all levels and in all areas -- who enable their companies to compete fiercely but with principles for sales, profits, market share, and especially talent at a time when competition for them is greater than ever before.

Here are mosaics of brief excerpts to suggest the thrust of Fox's crisp thinking and the flavor of his lively writing style.

On Competitive Companies: "These companies are ethical, honest, compliant with regulations, and model citizens. They are sometimes feared and always watched by their competitors. They are loved by their customers. They are easy to do business with, but they never take it easy...The savvy, smart, well-led companies see bad times as a good time to gain market share, to out-fox the competition...aggressively pursue underserved customers, market to brand-indifferent customers and work mightily to make them brand-loyal, go after other companies' dissatisfied, angry customers, buy under-priced hard assets, build capacity, hire newly available human talent, and acquire product licenses, anxious good suppliers, undermarketed products, new wholesalers and distributors, and core relevant acquisitions.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
President Grover Cleveland said "In calm waters every ship has a good captain." Economic downturns produce both challenges and opportunities for business owners and managers. Those who survive (fierce competitors) often emerge stronger and with greater market share taken from competitors who went under or into hibernation. Like many of Fox's other books, this is short enough to be read in an evening and it contains no fluff or filler. It is loaded with great ideas, strategies and action items. I have already been able to implement some in my own business with good results.

Incidentally, my favorite of Jeffrey Fox's books is How to Make Big Money in Your Own Small Business. If you are a small business owner, you may want to consider buying the books as a set. I am confident that you will get a good return on investment from the time you spend reading both.
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