on February 20, 1999
this book should be the bible of all men wanting to be in business! les schwab is the most generous man sharing over 50% of his net profits with his employes. this is why he has the most loyale caring people under him. this book is truelly unbelivable, that a man, one man could think of these ethics and live by them everyday and build an empire as huge as he has. the book does jump around alot but it is neat how this no 81 year old man wrote this whole book useing his old typewriter with only a little gramical correction. truelly a book for every person trying to compete in todays business world!!!
on February 15, 1998
This is the story of Les Schwab and his company. He tells how he started in the tire business and shares with the reader his ideas on building a successful business through building successful employees. Les is a businessman not a writer, but like in business, he gets his points across. He is the undisputed king of the tire business in the Pacific Northwest. His is the largest independent tire business in the world and he makes it look easy. If you are in business or want to be in business you must read this book.
on June 19, 2004
This is a great book on multiple levels. Les Schwab's personal story is fascinating and well articulated. It's an inspirational story for budding entrepeneurs. He shows you that with alot of work, dedication and common horse sense you can go a long way. The tire business is a particulary difficult one, and the book describes how Les Schwab found a niche for his business to flourish in. The book is worth the price just for his idea about profit sharing plans that he employs. Very useful for anyone interested in business. All in all very entertaining and informative book.
You can still get this book direct from Les Schwab Tires. You can buy it directly from a LS Tires Store, or by sending a check for $12.50 to
Les Schwab Tire Centers
PO Box 667
Prineville, OR 97754
on July 19, 2002
if you are familiar with the largest pacific northwest tire dealer les schwab then you will know that it is not a bad title to be called "tire boy".
knowing alot of people in the les schwab company it has been wonderful to watch each and every one of them become successful.
les schwab offers a range of wonderful benefits to both customers and employees.
customers: get the wonderful benefit of knowing that what ever they purchase it is being warrantied, having someone run to your car when you pull into the parking lot...
employees: get the wonderful benefit of (free) medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage... hefty bonuses, dividends and beautiful discounts
i would highly recommend this book to anyone that is thinking of going to work for les schwab or would like to learn how to become successful as les schwab.
i feel very fortunate to have grown up in les schwab country...
on February 2, 2003
My boyfriend wanted to be, and was, the "first" customer at the Les Schwab that opened in the Maple Valley-Black Diamond area in Washington. I thought that was odd but he got there early and was the first customer.
Actually I went down to see what the big attraction was and that morning several trucks arrived from Prineville full of the store inventory, including even the forms for the office! Managers from area Les Schwab stores were on hand, donuts and coffee on the counter, and these fellows were unloading the trucks and stocking the store, having started around 4-5am as I recall. It was interesting to watch.
I bought this book yesterday and will finish it today (they also sell it at the Les Schwab stores if you ask at the counter.) Les wrote this himself and explained his life and what worked, what didn't, etc. It's a great read and interesting. I recommend it highly.
on June 29, 2006
His credentials are that he was orphaned at 15 and built a business doing over $1B per year.
He discusses the virtuous cycle, where he set up programs to make his people successful, and in turn, they make him successful. He talks about unions, socialism, zoning regs, and the dangers of too many policies. His advice to push everything down to the lowest level (not at corporate HQ) should be read by our education departments and government.
He covers a very wide set of topics in a way that really makes you want to "shake his hand"!
on June 10, 2006
If you want to learn about Les Schwab this book is good, but if you want to learn about business and how to treat customers, employees, and vendors then this book is AWESOME! Customer Service is so lax anymore that I would go buy a set of tires just to experience it at Les Schwab Tire Centers. Yes, They still run to great you, and fix flats for free. Why would you shop anywhere else?
on June 30, 2005
I got interested in reading the book because it was recommended by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger at the Berkshire Hathaway stockholder's meeting in 2004. They said it was a good book on how to establish performance metrics to motive and reward employees. If you like reading about business, the book is enjoyable and is a relatively quick read, and has lots of practical insights.
on December 15, 2007
Many years ago, when I was in one of the Les Schwab tire stores, I saw a a heap of books in a battered cardboard box in a corner. A hand lettered sign advertised the box's contents for "$5.00" each. The books were Les Schwab's autobiography. I bought one, started reading it when I got home, and couldn't put it down until I'd finished the book. "Les Schwab/Pride in Performance" is the tire magnate's life story written "on (his) 40 year old typewriter" in the mid 1980s. Mostly it's about the growth of his "Les Schwab" tire store empire. Also, it's a high-personal-interest story about one man's road to business success. There are lots of not-so-interesting short sections on Schwab opening another tire store and many sections about people who worked for him, but Schwab's battles on the road to success and the accounts of his lieutenants are each covered quickly so what could be boring isn't. Les Schwab grew up around Bend, Oregon. His father was a drunk and his mother taught school. Both died before he was 17. Fortunately Schwab's mother left her mark. He and his siblings "were all taught to work at very young ages." Schwab sensed too that his mother wanted a better future for him. As many less successful people of the time probably had a similar background but didn't do as well, why did Les Schwab succeed? For Schwab, the key was that he was a thinker about how to do his job better and about how to motivate people who worked with him to do better. That's a thread that runs through his book. An early example is that when Schwab was a circulation manager for "The Bend Bulletin" newspaper he "attempted to put some pride in the circulation work (the low end of the newspaper business) for myself and others." It paid off for the newspaper and for him. After that Schwab was always looking to start some business or another. "I had ideas," he writes. About 1950, when Schwab was 33, with help from his brother-in-law, Schwab bought a tire store in a small central Oregon town. From then on his star shone brighter. Sure there were tough times and sure there were close calls but, as one reads his comments and between the lines, it's obvious, that with Schwab's attitude toward people, the odds were heavily on his side. "Do good and it will come back to you," may be another's sdvice but it was Schwab's practice and it paid off. "Never take advantage of a customer (and) never take advantage of an employee," he writes. Again it was Schwab's ideas that made the difference. "Help people to be successful people" and "Share profits with your employees," he advises. With the years, energy, thought, and practice paid off very well for Les Schwab. A few years ago he was one of Forbes Magazine's 400 richest people. Those that have stuck with him have done well, too. Hopefully, though, few people who Schwab pulled along have had the personal misfortune he had. Late one night in 1971, Schwab writes, "the doorbell rang (and two policemen)....came in and told me Harlan was dead." Harlan was Schwab's only son. "He'd run into the back of a log truck on Third Street." Harlan was 31. "He had problems," Schwab writes and says little more in that section. In an earlier part of the book Schwab gives us more details about Harlan and reflects, "Maybe I was too harsh on him." This is a subject Schwab wanted to write more about, I think, but it was too painful for him to go into in detail. Two years before he died this Spring, Schwab and his wife lost their only other child, a daughter. She was 55. That happpened after the book had been written. Sure Les Schwab had fabulous business success and deserved it; sure he gave people great service; and sure he helped along many of his employees; but does one very early death (Harlan's) and another (daughter Margie) show that the gods made Midas pay a price for his riches? This is a good story with a winning theme for a small businessman: work hard, think about how to provide a better service or product, and treat your customers and employees well. I highly recommend the book.