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Memos from the Chairman Paperback – March 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (March 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761103465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761103462
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In nearly two decades as chairman of the board, Alan "Ace" Greenberg has successfully guided Bear Stearns & Co. through the financial marketplace's dizzying highs and sickening lows. His management philosophy, often credited to "advisor and mentor" Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal, was articulated over the years in a series of witty and revealing memoranda. Grouped by era and prefaced briefly by the author in Memos from the Chairman, they now offer a front-seat look at a unique business style. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When Greenberg became chair of the investment banking firm Bear Stearns in 1978, he began the practice of communicating to his staff via memos. While this is accepted practice in the business world, Greenberg's staff soon discovered that their boss wrote memos quite unlike the ones they were used to receiving. This collection of memos written between 1978 and 1995 covers topics ranging from conserving electricity to promptly answering telephones. All are written with gentleness and wit. It is comforting to read memos from an employer who communicates to employees with intelligence and compassion. For business collections.
Andrea C. Dragon, Coll. of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, N.J.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Gotta like his style.
Ken J Griggs
As I was sifting through dust-ridden literature in my library, I came across this legendary book.
Michelle D. Rosado
The employees at Bear were fortunate to have such clear communication from the top.
R. Forman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jumpy1 on June 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ah - a book that recalls the days when people wanted to work for corporations! As a former employee of Bear Stearns who received some of the memos in this book, I can say that those memos created an atmosphere of comraderie and humor during the recession of the early '90s. Back then, Bear Stearns was considered a great place to work. Of course, Mr. Greenberg is not running the company anymore. At that time, BSC was one of the largest banking institutions in the world, and every level of employee was very proud of his or her role in the success of the company. I recommend this book for managers who need to remember who is really doing the work!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott C. Locklin VINE VOICE on April 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alan "Ace" Greenberg's pithy sayings apparently created a spirit of comradery which brought Bear Stearns through the tumultuous 1970s and 80s, to be the powerhouse it is today. In addition to his many talents with arbitrage, yoyo, and playing bridge, the Chairman is a funny guy. It's heartwarming to know he still has his finger in the game, and that his successor is cut of the same cloth. Save your paperclips and fix those rubber bands, people!

BTW, if you've ever been to Bear Stearns HQ on Madison avenue; the place still sizzles with elan and zeal. He's certainly built a corporate culture which has lasted. No slouchy people in jeans at the Bear; people there never got sloppy like the rest of america did. Of course, I'm an outsider looking in, but what I saw looks pretty impressive. Who would you trust with your money? The slob slouching around throwing paper clips in the trash, or the guys who are neat as pins who waste nothing? Check out their returns for the answer to that.

Edit Add: OK, maybe ties were not all that was needed. It's still a great book, even if the coda to the Bear story is a sad one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ryan D. Bond on June 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To begin with, an author, particularly of a business-related book could not receive a better endorsement than from Warren Buffett. For the informed reader, that could suffice for a review.

For those unfamiliar with Buffett, this book is a must read. Ace Greenberg is witty, humorous and on the money with each subject. Peter Drucker suggested that the most effective form of communication is the 1-page memo and Ace Greenberg shows uncanny mastery of that form of communication. Whether you work in a small or large organization, but particularly a large one, this book is must reading.

Enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michelle D. Rosado on February 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
As I was sifting through dust-ridden literature in my library, I came across this legendary book. I too am a former employee of Bear Stearns and remember meeting Mr. Greenberg during my frequent visits to the trading floor.

I enjoyed 'Memos from the Chairman' because it's from the real Alan Greenberg, the legend....

Five stars!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Scott Proctor VINE VOICE on December 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Memos from the Chairman" is a unique and interesting publication. Unique in the sense that the vast majority of this book is in fact a compilation of Memorandas from Alan Greenberg, of Bear Stearns fame. Interesting from the perspective that a book can tell a story using, more or less, just a series of Memorandas.

Entertaining, amusing, insightful and educational, this is a book well worth reading. Add to that a Foreword penned by Warren Buffett, and the case for taking the time to read this book is just made stronger.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By User on July 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Good book, quick read. I finished it in about two days and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it's a little repetetive on cutting costs, Greenberg, HAC, and Nookie make some very good points. At times they do seem quite greedy and money-centric but Greenberg says, "I hate throwing money out the door." The lesson I took away was to not waste rather than to be greedy.
P.S.: Keeping with the spirit of the book, save some money and buy it used although I have no plans of selling my copy anytime soon.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JAMES E. DINER (MCYI4JED@stud.umist.ac.uk) on March 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
A truly inspirational insight into the creation of the corporate culture of Bear Sterns, one of the most successful US investment banks. Put simply, the book is a collection of memos passed around the office, written by the ubiquitous Ace Greenberg. His fascination with saving on paper clips and lighting expenses should be a lesson to us all.
At the time I read the book, I was so impressed with the content that I wrote to Mr Greenberg personally, and asked him for a job - need I say any more!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is an outstanding example of successful leadership, which many corporations would do well to emulate throughout their organizations. The book presents the elements for success: These two gentlemen not only had a profound knowledge of the banking and investment worlds, but this was also combined with a sensitivity and delightful sense of humor, which shows a unique understanding of the needs of all the employees within the organization. If only all companies would implement such management styles, there would be no more managerial blunders and atrocious behavior, like those described in the witty-satirical book, "MANAGEMENT BY VICE". I recommend it, if you wish to see some of the unspoken, underlying reasons why high-tech companies may be struggling and why they do not always achieve the kind of success described in the erudite and insightful "Memos From The Chairman"!
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