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What the Best MBAs Know: How to Apply the Greatest Ideas Taught in the Best Business Schools
What the Best MBAs Know: How to Apply the Greatest Ideas Taught in the Best Business Schools
by Peter Navarro
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $28.20
57 used & new from $0.10

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaining an MBA Skillset, February 8, 2011
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A traditional MBA has many electives, but most have the same core classes such as Macro and Micro economics, finance, accounting, Organizational Behavior, Strategy, and Marketing. I purchased this book to continue learning and as a companion to my MBA program.

The chapters I enjoyed the most were Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting. I find these skills are in high demand and understanding and being able to carry on a conversation about the topics are critical, especially in any kind of leadership or management position. As you engage with upper management who run these programs you can make more contributions when you understand the basics of these theories, ratios, metrics, and management techniques.

The author put together great Snapshot Applications which help the reader gain more insight on the topic and seeing it in a real word scenario; also I found a lot of great graphs and charts to help explain certain techniques and some concepts.

The book is organized into five parts where Part 1 is the The Big MBA Picture, Part 2 is the Strategic and Tactical MBA, Part 3 is The Functional MBA, Part 4 is the Organizational and Leadship MBA, and Part 5 is the MBA Toolbox. Contributors for the book come from top universities, but a diverse set of universities and colleges (not just Ivy League). Highly recommended for people looking at an MBA program, those going into one, those who have finished, and for anyone that wants a good toolset around understanding what it takes to run a business.

I recommend this book along with The Project Savvy Project Manager by Gary Heerkens and Managing by the Numbers by Kremer, Rizzuto, and Case.


The Business Savvy Project Manager: Indispensable Knowledge and Skills for Success
The Business Savvy Project Manager: Indispensable Knowledge and Skills for Success
by Gary Heerkens
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $28.70
65 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide for Project Managers, February 8, 2011
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This book by Gary Heerkens is an excellent guide in tying together key elements of a financial manager and a project manager. The value of this book is hard to quantify as project managers need a deep understanding of how the project ties into the overall strategy of their company and how the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow will be impacted. With this knowledge the project may be run more efficiently and with the best interests of the owners in mind (i.e. providing the best return for shareholders and stakeholders).

Some key chapters are Cost Management in Organizations, Project Economics (three parts or chapters), Risk Management Decision Making and Business, Business Cases and Business Case Preparation. In addition, the glossary in the back is a nice tool with some good references.

Understanding this book will allow project managers and engineers to present strong business cases and speak more competently to financial managers and executives. Plus, you will be able to report out with cash flow numbers, how you improved the balance sheet and income statement, along with the impact on other critical metrics. This definitely will be a book that will be kept at arm's length and referred to many times. I recommend also "What the Best MBA's Know" by Peter Navarro.


The Great Game of Business: Unlocking the Power and Profitability of Open-Book Management
The Great Game of Business: Unlocking the Power and Profitability of Open-Book Management
by Jack Stack
Edition: Paperback
261 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creating your own Game, February 8, 2011
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I am reading the book 16 years later, but the message is relevant. The basis of the book is Open-Book Management or sharing the critical numbers and the financials with your employees. I know the United States was in a recession when this book was written so I took seriously his explanations about not laying off people to be "lean and mean", but helping to create new opportunities and jobs.

Not every chapter is great, some were dry and too much like a self-help book, but enough good chapters to make this book successful. The chapter on setting standards had good information about thinking how to control your costs and generate cash. I liked the advice of "Don't accept any number at face value". Meaning explore your metrics and make sure the right areas are being measured, numbers are not sacred.

The other chapter I liked was Skip the Praise-Give us the Raise. This wasn't so much about giving a bonus, but thinking about how to give a bonus and understanding what needs to be accomplished to earn a bonus. I liked the advice of setting a goal based on the balance sheet and protecting your equity. Nice explanation in the book on how to do this.

The book is fantastic for entrepreneurs or for owners of small companies that are growing or need to diversify. The book has many great tips on how to run a business and take care of your employees at the same time. Read this book in combination with "Managing by the Numbers" by Kremer, Rizzuto, and Case.


Beyond IBM
Beyond IBM
by Lou Mobley
Edition: Hardcover
49 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forward Thinking, February 3, 2011
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This review is from: Beyond IBM (Hardcover)
I purchased this book after reading "Managing by the Numbers" by Kremer, Rizzuto, and Case. What caught my attention was the Mobley Matrix. This Matrix is used to understand ones financial statements by putting them together and reading the lines horizontally and vertically. The Matrix is explained thoroughly in chapter 10, Financial Strategy.

I am surprised this book is not more widely used in business classes and other training as the author, Lou Mobley headed up a lot of training at IBM Executive Management classes. This type of training is known to be world class and the author takes the reader through key elements of Marketing, Finance, Management, Open and closed systems, Economic Theory. The top chapters for me were the Total Financial System and Financial Strategy. Next would the chapter on Mangers and Executives.

One of the key thoughts was "don't copy IBM, build on it." Don't get too entrenched in your corporate culture where the company or group becomes stagnant.

Another reminder is to carve out your own niche. "In this fast-paced environment, we make order out of chaos. When there is confusion we make the most money. We make our money on new products, when people need lots of help. We add value, knowledge, service and support."

The book is forward thinking talking about the knowledge economy and quickly moving away from the industrial economy. Mobley points out that profit will not pay the bills, cash will (sound familiar?). He points this out in an era when Wall Street clamors for profit, growth, and strong ratios. A business can only get money in three ways - operations, debt, and equity. Going outside for money can be tricky as you have to convince the lender you can pay back interest plus principal. The real bottom line is run out of cash, and you are out of business.

In sum, the foreward is great along with several key chapters. The chapters on finance by far is worth the price of the book alone (today I paid $0.01 for the book plus shipping). Finally, the Appendix has some key tooks as well. Enjoy, this is really a special book about business and to me one of the best written even though it is 20+ years old. HIGHLY recommended for entrepreneurs!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2014 7:12 PM PDT


My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance
My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance
by Emanuel Derman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.62
108 used & new from $2.34

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of Boring, February 1, 2011
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Possibly this book was too complex and over my head. I am not an expert on finance or physics. I find both topics in their own right interesting, but I don't know how well they mix together. I read the book as I enjoy reading about finance and trying to understand the principles better.

I was able to get through about 75 pages, and then found myself really drifting and not picking up too much beyond the first couple of chapters. For readers who are exploring this field they may find the book more interesting and will certainly understand the topics, but to the layperson the book will be too dry.

In short, the book is not poorly written, but I had to fight too much to get through the first 75 pages and skimmed from there. Not too many takeaways from this one and I don't think it will be listed as a top book or a must have anywhere.


The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
by Atul Gawande
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.89
160 used & new from $4.24

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars About 150 Pages too Long, February 1, 2011
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Like some other reviewers I felt this could have been summarized well in an article in Harvard Business Review, BusinessWeek, Fortune or some other related periodical. I skimmed the book then tried to read it and could not get more than a couple of chapters in. I agree the subject is worth exploring, but a whole book is not necessary on writing about checklists. In the end I ended up selling the book on Amazon a couple of weeks later.

Certainly checklists can (and arguably have) saved lives, but based on job and profession one can create and tailor their own specific checklists. I have been using the methodology for years, but a checklist I use may be different than the person next to me. I am not downplaying the necessity of checklists, but reminders to use them and maybe some tips on how to make one is all that is needed in most scenarios.

In sum the book was OK to me as a quick review. Go to your library, sit down, read what you need and take some notes (maybe make a checklist about making checklists). The idea is true and has some serious implications (I think of someone prepping for surgery and asking a list of questions or as noted in the book, a pilot preparing for takeoff). Certainly before negotiating with someone or even going for a mortgage a checklist has its place and would be recommended, but a whole book was unnecessary.


Sigh No More
Sigh No More
Price: $9.72
85 used & new from $3.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Grew on Me, January 28, 2011
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This review is from: Sigh No More (Audio CD)
At first I was not sure if I really liked it or if they were trying to hard. I listed a few more times and realized I really like their music. A few songs (maybe two) I don't like, but don't hate. The Cave is a great song that I like immediately and sometimes skip through to hear it again. The acoustic music with the banjo sounds nice and is overall pleasant. The songs kind of build so they are fun to run to or work out to.

If you don't like it listening through one or two times wait and play again. I look forward to their sophomore effort to see what they build on and run with (keep up the good acoustic music).


Nation of Heat
Nation of Heat

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, January 28, 2011
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This review is from: Nation of Heat (Audio CD)
I absolutely love this album. I played it and found it impossible to stop listening to. Hymn #101, Call it What you Will, Hymn #35, and I Do My Fathers Drugs are the standout songs, however all of them are top notch in their own way. Joe has a strong voice and sings with passion, I imagine he would be fun to see live in a small setting. The only complaint is I wish the album had more songs.

Listen closely to the lyrics as they are rich with content and great to sing along to. I hope he comes out with a full length album soon.


L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon
L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon
by Leon A. Gorman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.97
217 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars LL Bean, January 28, 2011
I was fortunate to receive one of the books signed by the President Leon L Gorman which is pretty cool. I thank Harvard Press for this as LL Bean is a company I admire. My parents have been buying LL Bean for as long as I can remember whether it be clothes, boots, socks, or jackets (I even got snowshoes from them). I love that when I call I reach somebody quickly who is located in Maine (at least I think). From what I understand they take care of employees and treat them fairly. Companies like this I enjoy reading about and seeing what makes them tick.

The chapters I found most helpful were toward the end: A loss of Relevance, Time for Transformation, and Platform for Growth to see how they were adapting to the internet age and more competition. As most know, they still have one of the best catalogues for mail order to go with a great website for easy ordering. In addition, Gorman had some discussion on the financial and improving Cost of goods sold which I always find interesting.

At times the book can be a little dry, but I think the man honestly wanted to tell his story and give some good advice. From what I gather the family, the state of Maine, and all of New England is proud of LL Bean. I would think they get a lot of people asking to work there.

Enjoy as a good biography about a great and well run company.


Turning Points
Turning Points
by Randy Schuster
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.95
53 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rochester, NY Leadership, January 28, 2011
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This review is from: Turning Points (Paperback)
Being from Rochester, NY I enjoyed reading about some of the leaders that have made this community so strong. The books containts 35 success stories where each business leaders takes you through some defining moments in their careers. Many of the people interviewed are household names in Rochester while some make take a little more research, but great to read about them.

I enjoyed reading about Matthew Augustine, Arunas Chesonis, Andy Gallina, Larry Glazer, John Holtz, Giovanni LiDestri, and Richard Sands. They were all good storytellers with good advice.

A good takeaway was from Mike Jones "I think there is no substitute for hard work. It's impossible to work hard at something you don't like though. So find something you like and work as hard as you can at it."

Plenty of good advice from some really good people who worked hard to keep Rochester an innovative city and great place to live.


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