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Make the Rules or Your Rivals Will Paperback – February 23, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Being smart and successful in business is possible only for those armed with the "kill or be killed" mentality. Competition is inevitable, says author Shell, a professor at the Wharton School, but in a cutthroat world that rewards street smarts and cunning—along with good connections and unlimited funds—conquering business enemies is the necessary ingredient for true success. Shell explains "everything-you-wanted-to-learn-in-business-or-law-school-but-didn't": if you want to be a rule maker, then you must know the rules, which include be bold, don't sleep and be prepared to settle. It's not always pretty and it's certainly never fair, he says, but the sooner one accepts the reality of this cold, hard business world, the sooner the competition will seem less threatening if not entirely inconsequential. Drawing on a well-researched laundry list of business-related case studies, personality profiles and history lessons that show how—and how not—to win in the game of business, Shell makes a good case of why nice guys rarely finish first (and manages to bring in everyone and everything from Coke and Pepsi to Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Wal-Mart, Pennzoil, Texaco and many, many others). Men and women who go to law and business school to learn how the system works so they can make the world a better place are fooling themselves and are likely not headed for super-success. Understanding how people, companies and laws really work—what Shell refers to as "sophistication in litigation"—is what separates the winners from the losers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

From Booklist

In the competitive high-stakes game of big business, it is no secret that companies work the legislative and legal systems to gain advantage in the marketplace. It's called competitive legal strategy, by which some companies make the rules and others are forced to operate within restrictive boundaries that add cost and inconvenience to entering a given market. Rather than pass judgment on these tactics, Shell exposes these realities in order to give business owners and managers the legal knowledge to make better, more profitable strategic decisions. Citing numerous real-world cases, he examines contracts, lawsuits, government legislation and lobbying, patents, copyrights, and other intellectual-property issues such as music downloading. Famous rivalries such as those between Henry Ford and the early automobile consortium, the railroads and the trucking industry, the cola wars, and the case against Microsoft are examined. Without getting too technical, Shell shows how companies that utilize smart legal strategies early and pick their fights wisely are the ones that come out ahead. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: G. Richard Shell Consulting (February 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615456537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615456539
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #916,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There are many wise lessons in this book. In some ways, it has a zen or eastern quality in that it doesn't shy away from the hard reality of business. Instead of moralizing (so common today in the wake of the Enron, Worldcom messes) it says, this is the way it is, and this is how you can prosper in this type of an environment. It is like a survival book for a jungle fighter in the middle of a guerrilla war. Very useful and practical.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Shell has written an excellent book that opened my eyes regarding the central role legal strategies have played - and will continue to play - in American business. Indeed, the reality is that business is conducted in an environment with many constraints that need to be considered. Those business leaders treating legal questions in an ad hoc fashion or tactically may find that they have been out maneuvered by a competitor and left with few, or at least painfully expensive, options.

I especially appreciated Dr. Shell's writing style that illustrated the heart of the principles of law involved without bogging down in difficult legal language.

I believe this book should be required reading for emerging MBA students and new managers alike.

If you're not using your legal team as an active advisor to your business management group, you may revise that after reading this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well written book for those seeking examples of how businesses use the legal system as part of their business strategy. Ethical? Hardly!! but legal?.. well, I guess so, barely!! This book explains the efforts that entrenched businesses go through to keep new competition from getting a foothold in their market.
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Format: Hardcover
Confession - I do the occasional work as an IT Advisor for a Global Lobbying group, and I wish I'd read this book a few years ago, I could have been doing my job better.
This is not an apologia for Lobbyists, it represents both sides of the fence. Some excellent case histories, such as when FDR re-scheduled Thanksgiving, and when Margarine had to be coloured pink.
It is not US-centric, it does contrast & compare many US & International customs, practices & procedures, and is comprehensive, covering many different Industries.
I liked the story in the Chapter on Litigation, how the Ancient Greeks discouraged Appeals : if you lost your appeal, you could be sold as a slave - nice idea we could do with today, to stop time-wasting.
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