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Mind Your Own Business: A Maverick's Guide to Business, Leadership and Life [Kindle Edition]

Sidney Harman
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $10.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

“The maverick’s way of conducting business forswears the leader as commanding general; it rejects the practice of top-down, authoritative command. Rather, it proposes the leader as catalyst, conscience, and inspirer . . . The true leader sees his job as setting an environment in which new ideas can emerge that neither he nor any other individual anticipated. That leap of imagination, that moment of genuine creativity, can only be inspired by a leader who encourages exploration and shows a willingness to consider a totally new approach.” --from Mind Your Own Business

The corporate misdeeds of self-serving executives during the high-octane economy of the 1990s have forced many people to rethink the qualities that make a strong leader. For sixty years, Sidney Harman, the chairman and CEO of the world’s premier manufacturer of high-end audio equipment, has stood apart from the crowd, building his business the old-fashioned way, by satisfying customers and, in doing so, making a healthy profit. His refreshingly employee-centric, bottoms-up approach to business is the secret of Harman International’s continuing success.

In Mind Your Own Business, Harman shares his visionary ideas about leadership, providing a welcome contrast to the bad behavior of business leaders recently dominating the news. Harman focuses on creating a culture of personal responsibility throughout his company. He likens his top management team to a jazz quartet that listens to and improvises with one another to create harmony. He stresses the need to do more for workers at every level because employees are the company’s most valuable asset. At Harman International, he has established in-house classrooms to teach English, basic math, health, and music, and encourages his employees to pursue their potential.

Now a hale and healthy eighty-five, Harman thinks that “an idea a day” is more important than the proverbial apple and that the key to a long life is a restless curiosity. In the bestselling tradition of Max DePree’s Leadership Is an Art, Mind Your Own Business is a frank, no-nonsense guide for those who want to bring strength, vitality, and values to their businesses—and to their lives.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is an intriguing autobiography about a remarkable career. I’ve learned a lot from Sidney Harman — and so will every reader.”
-Jimmy Carter

“This is a wise book. There’s no higher accolade I could provide. I will bet a pretty penny it becomes a classic — the equal of Alfred Sloan’s MY YEARS WITH GENERAL MOTORS. My heartfelt thanks to Sidney Harman, at 84, for making this splendid offering to all of us.”
-Tom Peters

“This book is all heart — strong, vibrant, humorous, practical and hugely creative. Sidney Harman uses plain language to catalogue the story of a remarkable company and its contributions to American enterprise and culture. A patriot businessman who cares, Harman has written a no-nonsense book you can’t put down — every page brims with ideas and principals that will help us all optimize our talents and lead more fulfilling lives.”
-Arthur Levitt, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission

“It is the best book about business that I have ever read — by far. While at General Motors, I must have read Sloan’s important book several times; it contained much wisdom. However, Harman’s is not only profound. It sparkles, and the progression of thought is like a great work of music. In short, I was captivated from beginning to end.”
-Elmer Johnson, former executive vice-president and board member, General Motors; former president, The Aspen Institute; partner, Kirkland & Ellis law firm

“I have never read a book that made business so exciting, so interesting, and so, well, entertaining. Harman’s book should be required reading, especially at this time, to restore honor in the profession of management.”
-Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business at the University of Southern California and author of ON BECOMING A LEADER and co-author of GEEKS AND GEEZERS
<b...

From the Inside Flap

?The maverick?s way of conducting business forswears the leader as commanding general; it rejects the practice of top-down, authoritative command. Rather, it proposes the leader as catalyst, conscience, and inspirer . . . The true leader sees his job as setting an environment in which new ideas can emerge that neither he nor any other individual anticipated. That leap of imagination, that moment of genuine creativity, can only be inspired by a leader who encourages exploration and shows a willingness to consider a totally new approach.? --from Mind Your Own Business

The corporate misdeeds of self-serving executives during the high-octane economy of the 1990s have forced many people to rethink the qualities that make a strong leader. For sixty years, Sidney Harman, the chairman and CEO of the world?s premier manufacturer of high-end audio equipment, has stood apart from the crowd, building his business the old-fashioned way, by satisfying customers and, in doing so, making a healthy profit. His refreshingly employee-centric, bottoms-up approach to business is the secret of Harman International?s continuing success.

In Mind Your Own Business, Harman shares his visionary ideas about leadership, providing a welcome contrast to the bad behavior of business leaders recently dominating the news. Harman focuses on creating a culture of personal responsibility throughout his company. He likens his top management team to a jazz quartet that listens to and improvises with one another to create harmony. He stresses the need to do more for workers at every level because employees are the company?s most valuable asset. At Harman International, he has established in-house classrooms to teach English, basic math, health, and music, and encourages his employees to pursue their potential.

Now a hale and healthy eighty-five, Harman thinks that ?an idea a day? is more important than the proverbial apple and that the key to a long life is a restless curiosity. In the bestselling tradition of Max DePree?s Leadership Is an Art, Mind Your Own Business is a frank, no-nonsense guide for those who want to bring strength, vitality, and values to their businesses?and to their lives.


Product Details

  • File Size: 222 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385509596
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (October 28, 2003)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBJEEM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
(12)
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ** February 23, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I bought this after a rave in FORBES, but it's kind of a hybrid memoir/business advice book that doesn't really work. And when he mentions his 24/7 work habits resulted in a divorce, that for me canceled out every bit of "advice" in this book. I know too many comparably successful men who spend a lot of time with their families. If you can't manage that balance, then you shouldn't be writing advice books.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars From a former employee March 2, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Working for Sidney for almost four years was an enlightening experience. I can honestly say that the way he portrays himself and his company bears literally no resemblance to how either exists in reality. I found Sidney to be a megalomaniac and quite divorced from the day-to-day goings on in Harman International. The company culture is abusive, and back-stabbing is not only the norm but is rewarded. I found senior management there to be "ethically malleable," to say the least, and financial results were reported that were less than honest. You'd never get this from reading this book. So.... if you're looking for good fiction this might be your ticket. If you want an accurate representation of how HI exists, this ain't it. I noticed that it is for sale in the "Used" section for under a dollar ... it's still overpriced.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shoulda Been a Pamphlet March 18, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Mr. Harman espouses hard work and integrity. There - I just saved you hours of time and the cost of this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Highly Disappointing October 9, 2004
Format:Hardcover
This book is full of bravado and it reads like a one written by a megalomaniac. In the book, it sounds as if Sidney is attempting to address his own regrets in life. I don't mean to discount Sidney's success in business, but he does not share much of that insight in his book. He emphasizes a lot on ethics and integrity, but he doesn't seem to fully embrace that at work or demonstrate that in his family and personal life. He also emphasizes hard work, but who doesn't already know that. To put this book at the level of a classic is highly unfortunate, and to categorize it in the same league as "My Years With General Motors," as Tom Peters has done, is to do Alfred P. Sloan gross injustice.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate Forum to Discuss Harman's Family Ethics November 26, 2005
Format:Hardcover
I have reviewed the comments on this board and felt utterly compelled to say something. My father is Sidney Harman and I can assure you that he is a wonderful and caring father to his six children and two step-children. His family life, however, is irrelevant when reviewing and contemplating the content of the book. This book is not called Mind Your Own Family. And to those conjecturing about my father's child rearing skills, I recommend you take a hint of advice from the book's title.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What is important in life? May 26, 2004
By Jim at
Format:Hardcover
Dr. Harman had four children, worked 24/7, and divorced his first wife after 25 years. Ten years before the divorce he took up golf and played weekends, leaving his children, entering their teenage years, for his wife to raise. At age 60 he married a woman 25 years his junior and according to the book had two more children with her. They are still married, after some 25 years.
This book contains anecdotal information regarding the environment in which a large company operates, and some things to consider while doing so. That info is useful. The author also deals extensively with business ethics. This is less useful. His ethical model was apparently different at home than in the office.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like reading the book esp
I like reading the book esp. it does say correctly - Mind your own business - I personally do agree that we have to care for our own business at high cost in order to succeed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by mwong
4.0 out of 5 stars mind your own business: really good book
it's a very fast and informative read.. helpful to see how sidney harman thinks and how his thoughts might well apply to other businesses
including mine. Read more
Published on September 17, 2010 by David Valk
5.0 out of 5 stars MInd Your Own Business
I read this book on my flight from Phoenix to Maryland(BWI). I have since bought several copies and am sharing the contents with my friends and associates. Read more
Published on October 22, 2007 by Ramsaran Dasai
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and entertaining book by a remarkable man
As an audiophile, I am very familiar with the name Sidney Harman. For over 50 years the products made by his company have set high standards for innovation, performance and... Read more
Published on February 14, 2004 by MikeR
5.0 out of 5 stars LOOKING FOR SOME BUSINESS WISDOM, LOOK NO FURTHER
Dr. Sidney Harman has bridged the gap between human doing and human being. More than any other book in recent years, this book offers a perspective on the business and human side... Read more
Published on November 30, 2003 by Mark Goulston
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This book is fantastic! The anecdotes are priceless and the writing is authentic and inspiring.
Published on October 29, 2003
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