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The Feel of the Deal: How I Built a Business Through Acquisitions Paperback – March 17, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: 1 to Ponder (March 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160222000X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602220003
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Sher is the principal of CEO to CEO, an advisory practice dedicated to the world in which CEOs work. His CEO case study columns are published in the East Bay Business Times and the San Jose Business Journal as well as on the Alliance of Chief Executives Advisory e-Board. He is a speaker for audiences of entrepreneurs, executives, business owners and C-level executives. Robert Sher serves as a Director of the Alliance of Chief Executives. In 2007 he focused on building systems, processes and activities that facilitate increased member communication and mutual support, in particular among members in different working groups. Robert was CEO/President and a founder of Bentley Publishing Group. He was at the helm from 1984 through 2006, and this industry-leading decorative poster publishing firm has grown significantly, including four acquisitions since 1999. He writes a regular column for leading magazines in the wall décor industry and the hobby industry and is a founder and Chairman of the Art Copyright Coalition, a worldwide organization fighting to stop copyright infringement of visual artists. He also holds a leadership role in an education industry startup, S is for Science. Between 1995 and 2000, he was a Lecturer under contract with St. Mary s College, teaching Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management to hundreds of graduate students in the MBA and Executive MBA programs. Robert Sher received a B.S. in Business from Hayward State University and an MBA from St. Mary s College, where he received the Jack Saloma award. He is married to Renee and father of two children, Jessica and Ben, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

More About the Author

Robert is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm of former chief executives that improves the leadership infrastructure of midsized companies seeking to accelerate their performance. He has published extensively on the successful leadership traits of CEOs of mid-market companies. His newest book will be released on September 16, 2014 and is titled, "Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers." His first book written in 2007 was "The Feel of the Deal" and he is a regular columnist for the online version of Forbes and CFO Magazine.

He and his partners act as consulting CEOs who help CEOs and their top teams navigate difficult passages. Running a company is a series of judgment calls, each of which can have big consequences. We often help make those judgment calls, drawing on deep experience as CEOs and by helping our clients think through situations. Some people call him a CEO coach. Some call him a CEO mentor. Some see him as their own "Chairman of the Board".

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marc Maurer on September 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
The “Feel of the Deal” is the story of how the former CEO of the Bently Publishing Group acquired one of his competitors (Aaron Ashely) and two other firms. This is a marvelous piece for a number of reasons:

A first-person CEO experience: In the first part of the book, the reader can look through the eyes of a midsized company CEO and experiences first-hand how and why he starts buying owner-led firms over the course of 40 months. Rob explains the details from the very beginning of finding a suitable acquisition target, making first contact, and building mutual trust until eventually the deal can be closed against many odds. This part also uncovers typical pitfalls of acquisitions (e.g. unrealistic expectations, faulty communications, guesswork instead of facts, etc.) and how to cope with them. Each of the easy to read chapters end with a dedicated section of Rob’s reflections which are filled with tips and tools how to successfully manage a multi-year acquisition process in a systematic and professional way. The true life story is so suspense-packed that it is hard to put the book away once you started reading.

A buyers operating manual: In the second part, Rob Sher dives into more details regarding a number of important moments of acquiring Aaron Ashley such as how to best analyze a business, good and bad reasons for selling, interacting with advisors and banks or how to keep a deal alive when others want to kill it. This part comes in essay form and is best seen as a reference work depending on the reader’s individual interests.

The book is best for entrepreneurs who are new to acquisitions and want to learn about the challenges that occur when buying other founder owned companies and which practices are effective to drive the process towards success.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karl M. Sjogren on April 2, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
I am struck by a couple of things about Robert Sher's The Feel of the Deal.
1) Its a well-presented and easy-to-read summary of a what goes on inside the head and heart of an acquisition-minded private company CEO.
2) Its a challenge to combine narrative with insights that a reader can apply to his/her situation. A worthwhile discussion on "morals of the story" can easily disrupt the story itself. The author addressees this dilemma in an innovative way. He tells you the story of what happened in a chronological manner, tells you what moral he took from an event and points the reader to a short essay on the moral at the end of the book.
3) The author is very open about what his thoughts were at that point in time and how he went about meeting the challenges of the moment. In the separate essay section, he describes in detail what information weighed on his thinking at the time. He also shares techniques he used to convert data into information he could use.

Overall, this a great read. The author has wisdom to share and does so in an engaging manner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John D. Oconnell on June 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
The "Feel of the Deal" is a very useful and user friendly anecdotal text for the modern entrepreneur. The book takes a basic practical approach to business and acquisition in a thoughtful way. The "Feel of the Deal" is a valuable handbook for both the new and experienced business professional.
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