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Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed [Kindle Edition]

Michael D. Eisner , Aaron R. Cohen
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Working Together, a fascinating and invaluable look at why great partnerships succeed, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner discusses how professional partnerships have contributed to his success. In addition, Eisner tells the stories of nine other highly successful business collaborations, including Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, Bill and Melinda Gates, Joe Torre and Don Zimmer, and Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It certainly helps in writing a wannabe best-selling business book to be able to snag personal, face-to-face interviews with celebs. Then again, if you’re Michael D. Eisner, former CEO of the Walt Disney Company (with no small assistance from a writer–TV producer cowriter), access should be no issue. The list of corporate partners—in a variety of industries—is one key to catapulting to the top 10 list; among his distinguished interviewees are Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger. The second key? A topic that’s sure to prompt no small discussion: why certain business duets succeed in the corporate (and entertainment/sports) world. A third feature: an almost dialogue-type style, by which readers feel intimately involved in the conversation. Are the conclusions about working together groundbreaking? Not really; Eisner points to trust as the foundation, followed closely by a real sense of ethics. There is wisdom in remembering the 10 Commandments—and, what’s more, taking the golden rule to heart. A name-dropping book that is catchy enough for all to skim. --Barbara Jacobs

From the Back Cover

In business there are always unique individual achievers, but pull down the veil and you'll often find someone alongside them. Using his own collaboration with Frank Wells at Disney as a launching point for examining other famously successful partnerships, Michael D. Eisner provides an intimate and deeply personal look at some of the most rewarding business partnerships—from investment gurus to entertainment impresarios, from fashion designers to big-box retailers—uncovering what makes them tick and offering unconventional wisdom and unexpected insights.

Ten Stories, Ten Magical Partnerships:
Michael D. Eisner and Frank Wells (Disney)
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger (Berkshire Hathaway)
Bill and Melinda Gates (The Gates Foundation)
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard (Imagine Entertainment)
Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti (Valentino)
Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell (Studio 54)
Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus (The Home Depot)
Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (restaurateurs)
Joe Torre and Don Zimmer (New York Yankees)
John Angelo and Michael Gordon (finance)

Product Details

  • File Size: 401 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061732362
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003V1WT2C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,563 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Stories Threaded Together By Some Good Lessons February 16, 2011
In Working Together, Michael Eisner uses the stories of several successful partnerships (including his own) to find commonalities and perhaps offer the reader a formula for identifying or creating the same.

The stories are great and every reader will find a different partnership that he or she identifies most with, but the overriding lesson is that the best two person teams have partners who have very different personalities and skill sets, but shared values, beliefs, ethics, and ultimately goals.

As an investor, I particularly liked the chapters on Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger and John Angelo and Michael Gordon, which remind us that most great partnerships have at least one optimist and one skeptic. The trust that Warren and Charlie have developed in one another was a key feature of several other partnerships including Joe Torre and Don Zimmer of the New York Yankees who also discovered that trust fostered loyalty and an ability for partners to benefit from each other's strengths, without feeling compromised by their own vulnerabilities.

Several notable stories emerged from Eisner's interviews like Bernie Marcus asking Arthur Blank to just keep bumping the revenue projections up on the first Home Depot store until the projections showed profitability. While this obviously worked out for them, I imagine there are more than a few entrepreneurs where that wasn't the case. I also enjoyed learning about Brian Grazer's networking techniques at Warner Brothers which ultimately led him to his partner, Ron Howard.

Ultimately, Eisner draws a set of conclusions about successful partnerships that lead to the whole being greater than the sum of the parts which can be measured in both financial and emotional terms. Eisner's book is a relatively quick read with enjoyable stories and relevant lessons for anyone interested in how to identify or create the next great partnership.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars That was a Disappointment January 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very interested in reading this book. I don't want to trash Eisner. I think if it were not for he and Frank Wells there might not be a Walt Disney Company today. I thought this was a real opportunity for him to more fully explore what worked between he and Frank. In the end, I found little more than his conversation about the relationship in his autobiography. That was a disappointment.

He goes on to explore other successful partnerships. Some are from Hollywood, like Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, which I found interesting. Some were outside Hollywood like Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. Also interesting. But then he goes on to talk about Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti. If that were a marriage, we would call it dysfunctional or co-dependent. But I wouldn't call it a great partnership. That was a disappointment.

Eisner then goes on to highlight Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. They founded Studio 54. This is the best we can produce in a great partnership? Really? Why didn't he highlight Bonnie and Clyde? I found no inspiration from that story. That was a disappointment.

What was really missing was a study of the greatest Hollywood pair, past and present. Here Eisner headed Disney, but it's absent of any real conversation about Walt and Roy. Was there any more successful pair, not just in Tinseltown, but in corporate America? And then there's the best modern day example of all--John Lasseter and Ed Catmull. They not only made Pixar what it is today, they've had to go back and pick up the pieces left by the Eisner era. That was a big disappointment.

In short, while the book has few merits, and in fact, is a disappointment.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read December 1, 2010
By Paul
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Picked it for my self and my partner. This book is truly motivating as it highlights the need of good, reliable partners to succeed in today complex business environment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 things are the hardest things to find in life December 19, 2011
My father told me many years ago that there are two things that are the most difficult things to find in life. One is a good wife or a husband, and the other is a good partner/friend that's with you for the rest of your life. But once you find them you better hold on to them forever. This books shares with you several stories that validate the importance of finding a partner who learn how to work together and accept each other's strengths and weaknesses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Carla
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've always been a solitary business man. I've liked to launch businesses alone and keep the pie to myself.

But Michael Eisner's book "Working Together" really changed everything for me. It introduced me to a number of examples of beautiful partnerships, where each individual was better for having the other by his side.

Furthermore, the book was just an enjoyable read. Its so cool to hear about all of these REALLY successful business celebrities and how a partnership early on helped get them to where they are.

Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Just Okay, but Frank Wells Chapter is Worth It March 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The subtitle of this book is, "Why Great Partnerships Succeed" but it never really answers the question. The Frank Wells chapter is worth the price of the book alone, nonetheless. Only Michael Eisner could have written that. Frank Wells is still missed nearly 20 years after his tragic death in a helicopter accident. Frank Wells is strong evidence that how you treat people in life is remembered long after you are gone. The other interviews/profiles in the book are a bit hackneyed and have been covered extensively elsewhere (Buffett/Munger). This book might have benefited from a bit more introspection or analysis from Eisner. For example, it could have included some counterexamples of disagreement, tension, challenges and/or even partnerships that didn't work. Ovitz/Eisner is one obvious example. "Why Great Partnerships Fail" is probably the subject of a different, perhaps equally noteworthy, business book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Every business person should read
Actually I read this book when it was first published. Bought this copy for my son, who is considering a partner in his business.
Published 8 months ago by Leonard Steinberg
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh ...
Very superficial and light account of great business leaders who worked well together. I'd pass if I were you. Not much meat on the bone.
Published 14 months ago by MC
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and Informative
Partnerships are key to success - both professionally and personally. It was fascinating to read about successful business partnerships and think about how to apply their success... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Erica D Woolway
5.0 out of 5 stars real life - fun to read
Michael Eisner describes in a very lively way the strengths of personal partnerships in business. The book is fun to read and full of anectodes that make good top managers even... Read more
Published on September 24, 2011 by Helmuth Ludwig
1.0 out of 5 stars The Cover Design is a Great Giveaway
Some interesting insights into partnerships through some people magazine-like (LIGHT AND FLUFFY) profiles. Read more
Published on May 7, 2011 by R. Eames
3.0 out of 5 stars mixed bag
a few interesting insights are peppered through the book, which might be helpful for me to adopt. i'm always fascinated to read about warren buffett and enjoyed that section. Read more
Published on January 30, 2011 by snow
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
This book highlights several business partnerships that were very successful. I picked it up and found it very enlightening. Read more
Published on January 20, 2011 by Patti Chadwick
1.0 out of 5 stars Eisner's ego bigger than ever.
I checked out this book from my local library as I worked for the Disney Company for 19 years & was curious about Eisner's new book. Mr. Read more
Published on January 9, 2011 by Lone Buff
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More About the Author

For four decades, Michael D. Eisner has been a leader in the American entertainment industry. He began his career at ABC, where he helped take the network from number three to number one in prime-time, daytime, and children's television. In 1976 he became president of Paramount Pictures, turning out hit films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Saturday Night Fever. In 1984 Esiner was appointed chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and, in the ensuing twenty-one years, transformed it from a film and theme park company with $1.8 billion in enterprise value into a global media empire valued at $80 billion. In 2005 Esiner founded The Tornante Company, a privately held corporation that makes investments in and incubates companies and opportunities in the media and entertainment space. Visit his website at

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