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New Ideas from Dead CEOs: Lasting Lessons from the Corner Office Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; First Edition edition (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061197629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061197628
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In selecting great ideas from dozens of entrepreneurial CEOs, Buchholz insisted that these business pioneers had to be innovators, teachers of lessons, and interesting—and gone from this earth. All nine CEOs represent household names and, some may argue, overexposed brands. Yet Buchholz, with compelling and fast-reading narratives, drills to the core of each personality—and his or her business—ensuring that learnings don't get obfuscated by too much drama or sidebars. A. P. Giannini, founder of the Bank of America, believed in serving customers whom big business ignored—and launched the brand network now ubiquitous in financial services. Although his empire is undergoing no small turmoil today, Sam Walton literally invented self-service—and the resulting package of discount prices and a managed supply chain, hosted in small-town stores. Mix talent and a lucky break (and at least one failure) with an obsession for turning a small idea into a revolution. Jacobs, Barbara

Review

“Inspirational stories from the greatest business minds in history. Anyone can learn from their struggles, setbacks and, ultimately, successes.” (Entrepreneur.com)

“Fascinating...shows the power of ideas and persistence...a valuable guide to understanding what makes an economy grow.” (New York Sun)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Actually, it was Bernard of Chartres, not Isaac Newton, who should be properly credited with first observing that "we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness on sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size." I thought of that observation as I began to read Todd Buchholz's book about ten "giants" of the business world, each of whom introduced or refined "new" ideas that have, by now, been widely adopted.

The ideas on which Todd Buchholz focuses in this book were obviously "new" at one time but have by now become widely-adopted core concepts for achieving and then sustaining success in business. For example, almost all of the ideas about salesmanship that Thomas J. Watson, Sr. institutionalized so effectively at IBM and his son Thomas Jr. then refined were developed years earlier at National Cash Register when CEO John Patterson noted that his brother was outselling everyone else, examined how he achieved it, and established what is reputed to be the first corporate sales training program (in 1893) based on his brother's sales strategies and tactics. It is worth noting that Watson Sr. worked for IBM for several years and later acknowledged the value of what he learned about salesmanship from its branch manager in Buffalo, John J. Range.

In (of all places) the book's concluding chapter, Buchholz offers a challenge to his reader and makes a statement that indicates his approach top each of the ten "giants":

"I dare you. Search this book for the solitary secret that will guarantee riches while protecting you from being flung against the wall by competitors. You won't find it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
An insightful collection of essays and glimpses into the lives of some of the most successful CEO's of the 20th century. Passion, drive, talent, and luck are all certainly the characteristics evident in each life story. Todd Buchholz delivers a fair mix of trivia and insights into the evolution of each company and the CEO at the helm. One recurring theme: find an un-served market segment; a niche that is sneered at by the current market. For a similar read, make sure you take a look at `Founders at Work' by Jessica Livingston.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Omens on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was entertaining and informative for someone with a limited background in economics. I'm so glad it was recommended to me. The individuals who were profiled especially the women made it most relevant.

The author is witty and his style keeps the reader interested from beginning to end. Anyone buying this book is in for a treat.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kwan Cheng on July 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want a small history lesson on CEOs I guess this is the book for you, but for business majors, most of these lessons are pretty common knowledge.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Unbelievable what this author has done! He has gone to the past and brought to life CEO's that I have heard of as I was growing up, and never really knew much about. His writing holds the interest of the reader from beginning to the end of the book. This is a book that shows impeccable knowledge and humor that should be in your library .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After finishing this book I have a new appreciation for the greatness of entrepreneurship. This author profiles some of the greatest CEOS that happen to be also the founders of their respective businesses. It's written in a clever and funny tone (for a business book) and it's highly engaging and readable. If you are interested in corporate history, entrepreneurship or leadership you will really enjoy this book. I especially enjoyed the chapters on Sam Walton, Walt Disney and Ray Kroc.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have several issues with this book that compel me to give it a lowly 1-star.

First, it is written on about an 7th-grade level. It reminds me of grade school reading comprehension assignment or a book report from a mediocre grade-school student. The words are simplistic, the sentences are short, and the writing is full of author-specific personal interjections that try, albeit unsuccessfully, to make the reading fun. In the chapter on Walt Disney, the author even goes so far as to take several paragraphs to explain why the author didn't particularly like the menu at one of the Disney restaurants on one of his visits there and why Walt would not have let that happen. Who cares?

Second, the ideas presented are very, very simplistic. There are no complex insights. If you think bromides like "follow your passion" is a great pieces of advice, well, this book is for for you. Here is the summary of the findings cited in the Conclusion chapter: "It does not take a village, a Harvard MBA, or even a rich uncle. It takes passion, an obsession with turning a small idea into a sweeping revolution." That's it. There is nothing more than that in the entire book.

Third, the book is chock full of the author's asinine pop culture references that are completely unrelated to the story. Here are some of the many, many examples. This one involves Sam Walton: "Their New York-based management teams scoffed at Sam, as if they were watching comedian Jeff Foxworthy tell redneck jokes: 'You might be a redneck if you think a quarter horse is a ride out in front of Wal-Mart;' ..." GROAN.
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