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The Mormon Way of Doing Business: How Eight Western Boys Reached the Top of Corporate America Paperback – March 12, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus (March 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446696358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446696357
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Honesty, integrity and dedication to family and church may be old-fashioned values, but Benedict shows here that they jibe with tremendous success in the cutthroat world of business. In a conversational narrative, Benedict relates the stories of seven Mormon business leaders-five CEOs (including those of Dell Computers, JetBlue and Deloitte & Touche), one CFO (of American Express), and the former dean of Harvard Business School-to discover how these devout professionals tackle modern workplace problems. In order to meet the challenge of "winning and winning cleanly," Benedict doesn't proselytize, but rather draws practical rules from his subjects' stories and actions, such as "Compete within your power alley," "Own the high ground" and "Don't put yourself in a position to be tempted." He also shows what advantages stem from the tenants of a Mormon lifestyle, such as tithing, abstaining from drugs, avoiding work on the weekend, volunteering for Church leadership positions and raising large families. With the exception of a late chapter collecting his subjects' 9/11 experiences (which includes the unfortunate section title, "Losing $150 Million in One Day"), Benedict's point is clearly and entertainingly explicated: do you need to be Mormon to succeed in business? No, but it doesn't hurt.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The picture that comes to mind when you think about devout Mormons may seem diametrically opposed to the idea of the ruthless and powerful corporate CEO, so it may come as some surprise that the heads of many leading corporations and organizations such as Dell, Deloitte & Touche USA, American Express, Black & Decker, JetBlue Airways, and Harvard Business School are Mormons. Investigative journalist Benedict (a Mormon himself) examines the lives of eight Mormon business executives, focusing on how their core values influence the way they do business. Flying in the face of the absolute pursuit of power and money, these execs put an emphasis on placing family first, keeping Sunday exclusively work-free, and not placing themselves above others or above their God. Not surprisingly, Benedict finds that the corporate environment and success rate under these leaders is outstanding. Religious beliefs notwithstanding, the examples here prove that leadership that values the human element and does not compromise integrity and the environment does not equate to a competitive disadvantage but rather the opposite. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jeff Benedict published his first book - Public Heroes, Private Felons: Athletes and Crimes Against Women - during his first year of law school in 1997. At the time he was interning in the District Attorney's Child Abuse Unit in Boston and planning on becoming a prosecutor. By the time he earned his law degree in 2000, he had published three more books: Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL (Warner Books, 1998); Athletes and Acquaintance Rape (Sage Publications, 1998); and Without Reservation: How a Controversial Indian Tribe Rose to Power and Built the World's Largest Casino (HarperCollins, 2000). By then he'd decided to be a writer instead of a lawyer.

His books on athletes and crime established him as the national expert on the subject. Plus, he was the lead researcher on two groundbreaking studies conducted at Northeastern University - one on student-athletes and violence against women and one on arrest and conviction rates for athletes. In addition to being a regular analyst on network and cable news programs, Benedict served as an expert witness on behalf of rape and domestic violence victims; consulted for law firms representing victims of violence committed by athletes; and frequently appeared as a keynote speaker for women's groups, victim advocacy organizations and law enforcement conferences.

But his revelatory book on the world's largest Indian casino took him in another direction. Without Reservation questioned the legitimacy of the country's most powerful Indian tribe, prompting calls for a Congressional investigation and contributing to the defeat of a 20-year member of Congress that had helped the tribe obtain federal recognition. Benedict's book became the subject of a 60 Minutes segment and the author went on to run for Congress in the district where the tribe and its casino - Foxwoods - are located. His platform was built on reigning in the casino industry. Talk about controversy! Despite earning the support of the Wall Street Journal, Benedict fell short of capturing the Democratic nomination.

But he didn't mind. He just forged ahead and formed the nation's first statewide non-profit corporation dedicated to stopping casino expansion. As president of The Connecticut Alliance Against Casino Expansion, he partnered with Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and led the lobbying effort to pass landmark legislation outlawing new casinos in Connecticut. In 2004 Benedict testified against Donald Trump and other casino moguls before the House Committee on Government Reform as part a congressional investigation into the undue influence of money and lobbyists on the tribal recognition process.

At the same time, Benedict kept writing. In 2005 he conducted a six-month investigation into the negative social and economic impacts of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods - currently the two largest casinos in the world - and published his findings in a 2-part series in the Hartford Courant: Raw Deal and Losing Hand. He also testified before the Massachusetts legislature and the Philadelphia City Council in opposition to proposals to embrace casino gambling as an economic stimulus. He served as an advisor to municipalities and grassroots organizations throughout the country. The press dubbed him 'Consultant to the Stars' after he was hired to help David Crosby, Bo Derek, Elton John's longtime songwriter Bernie Taupin and others oppose plans to expand the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. He and Crosby also lobbied the U.S. Senate's Indian Affairs Committee.

Benedict has written five other highly acclaimed books on a wide range of topics. His book No Bone Unturned: The Adventures of a Top Smithsonian Forensic Scientist and the Legal Battle for America's Oldest Skeletons (HarperCollins, 2003) was the basis of a Discovery Channel documentary and was the subject of ABC News 20/20 segment. On the heels of Kobe Bryant's arrest on rape charges in Colorado, Benedict published Out of Bounds: Inside the NBA's Culture of Rape, Violence & Crime (HarperCollins, 2004), which was the basis of a 2-part special on ABC News 20/20 also titled 'Out of Bounds.' During pre-trial proceedings in the Kobe Bryant case, Benedict got access to sealed court documents and medical records that became the basis of three stories he wrote about the case for Sports Illustrated. After Bryant's case was dismissed, Benedict wrote a short series on Bryant for the Los Angeles Times, including an award-winning feature story that revealed why the case against Bryant fell apart.

In 2007 Benedict published The Mormon Way of Doing Business: How Eight Western Boys Reached the Top of Corporate America (Warner Business Books). It was based on interviews with the CEOs at JetBlue, Madison Square Garden, Dell, and Deloitte & Touche, along with the CFO of American Express and the dean of Harvard Business School. Benedict also wrote and co-produced his first television documentary based on the book. It aired on BYU-TV and on the PBS and CBS affiliates in Utah. He filmed commercials with Glenn Beck to promote the short film. After the release of the book and the film, Benedict teamed up with the executive he had profiled for a series of forums at Yale, Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business.

The following year Benedict was commissioned to write a book on a company that Warren Buffett purchased for $200 million. A few years later it was worth over $1 billion. How to Build a Business Warren Buffett Would Buy: The RC Willey Story (Shadow Mountain) was released in 2009. Buffett wrote the book's foreword. Also in 2009, Benedict released Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage (Grand Central Publishing). He spent three years chronicling the eminent domain battle in Kelo v. New London, considered the most controversial Supreme Court decision since Roe v. Wade. The book received universal praise: "a fascinating narrative" (New York Times Book Review); "an absorbing read" (Wall Street Journal); and "a mind-blowing story" (NPR's Diane Rehm). Following the book's release, Benedict spent a year traveling the country with plaintiff Susette Kelo, talking to Americans about property rights.

Today Benedict is a regular contributor for SI.com and a Distinguished Professor of English at Southern Virginia University, where he teaches a seminar called Writing and Mass Media, along with a course on current affairs. He is a frequent public speaker on athletes and crime, Indian gaming, eminent domain, and leadership and ethics in business. His forthcoming book chronicles the making of the world's #1 foodborne illness lawyer Bill Marler, who rose to prominence while representing children poisoned in America's largest E. coli outbreak. Benedict has begun working on a new book that he's been privately commissioned to write about an Islamic fundamentalist who converts to Christianity and is imprisoned as an infidel.
Jeff Benedict was born in 1966 in New London, Connecticut. He has a Bachelor's in History from Eastern Connecticut State University, a Master's in Political Science from Northeastern University, and a J.D. from the New England School of Law. He previously practiced law in Connecticut, where he has spent most of his life. He currently lives in Virginia on a Civil War-era farm with his wife and best friend Lydia Benedict and their four children.

Customer Reviews

A very well researched and practical book.
Fabrizio Poli
I am sure it will have a different view of things than is shown in this book, but women do work successfully and still live their faith.
Craig Matteson
The book is an excellent read, well written, It's hard to put the book down.
ML

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I like business and enjoy the company of most of the business people I know. Most of them are honest, hardworking, and have a competitive toughness that usually benefits the lives of many others. This is not the way they are portrayed in the popular media, which tends to focus on the awful exceptions and then smear all businessmen and women with the egregious behavior of the few.

Of course, no one is perfect, and many an honest person has missed the correct choice in a close call. Sometimes the shades of gray are quite hard to distinguish. Others suffer a moral collapse under tremendous pressure and give in to something they think will make things better, but it doesn't. However, let me stress again, these are the exceptions rather than the rule. This is true of business people regardless of their religious faith, if they have no faith, if they are tough negotiators, or if they have a softer style. People have to behave according to who they really are. Some folks mistake personal style for integrity or morality. This is an important distinction.

I say this to preface my review of a very good book because I want to be clear that I do not think that only Mormons are honest businesspeople or that they have some special lock on morality. This book has a contribution to make because what it shows is how these CEOs and top businesspeople have a somewhat different focus on business than one might usually find (but probably not exclusive to them) because of their faith and the experiences they had living that faith.

Jeff Benedict shows how service on a full time mission for the Church at 19-21 years old (or thereabouts) was foundational for these men.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Quinley VINE VOICE on February 9, 2009
Format: Unknown Binding
I am not a Mormon. I have no interest in becoming a Mormon.

And yet ... there is much I find to admire about the Mormons, including the fact that I've never met a lazy one. "The Mormon Way of Doing Business" was for me a fascinating and laudatory profile of over a half dozen corporate execs who happen to be Mormon, how they order their lives and balance the prodigious commitments of work, family and faith.

The LDS Church places huge demands on its congregants - both monetary and time demands. These seem to be cheerfully shouldered by execs from the likes of Dell, Deloitte, JetBlue and others.

Mostly this is a man's story. Gender roles in the LDS Church are open for discussion. The wives are the subject of one chapter and pretty much all of them are stay at homes.

Do Mormons ever sleep? The schedules of these guys seem super-human, yet none of them are complaining.

To see how one group manages to balance the big roles in their lives, you may find "The Mormon Way of Doing Business" an inspiring example which you can adapt - as needed and desired - to your own non-Mormon life!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Danny Chin on August 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I like the book; it is not a book of propaganda for the Mormon church. It talks about how some sucessful Mormon businessmen and CEO operate in accordance with the values taught by their faith. It is a useful addition to management literature. The book does not go into management theories and successful business models. It does not give you much empirical data based on surveys or business ratios. The focus of the book is on the moral values that make a difference in the lives of these individuals who make contributions to the company they work for, care for the employees, and have their self identity rooted in things (such as family, a desire to serve) other than wealth, fame, and status.

Yes, it make a lot of refernces to the Mormon faith. The author says it as he sees it. This book is good addition to the study of business ethics.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Deen Kemsley on January 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As an MBA professor at Tulane, I often deal students who are struggling to find a balance between family and spiritual life on the one hand and career success on the other. And frankly, as the father of nine children, I have personally struggled finding a way to invest adequately in family and worship while trying to financially support my family as well.

Jeff Benedict's "The Mormon Way of Doing Business" addresses this concern head on, providing real stories from the lives of very successful businessmen who have also found ways to foster successful families and close relationships with God. The book is uplifting, inspiring, and practical, providing a variety of very specific ideas my students and I can implement to both succeed at work and to draw closer to God.

I highly recommend the book to anyone who has struggled to find a balance between work, worship, and home, and to anyone who desires to more fully enjoy the redeeming grace of God. I can honestly say that this book and the lives of the individuals featured in the book have helped me find my way more clearly. I give the book a full 5 stars, and an extra star if I could, for addressing an issue of such vital importance to me and my students.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By S. Anderson on February 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Provides great insight to the lives of men who are successful at work and in thier religion. The book gives readers an opportunity to see how these men balance their business life with life at home and church. I enjoyed reading about much these leaders can accomplish without sacrificing their standars. I loved the final chapters that told the story how these Mormon leaders guided their companies through the September 11 attacks.
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