“This is a wise book. There’s no higher accolade I could provide. I will bet a pretty penny it becomes a classic — the equal of Alfred Sloan’s MY YEARS WITH GENERAL MOTORS. My heartfelt thanks to Sidney Harman, at 84, for making this splendid offering to all of us.”
“This book is all heart — strong, vibrant, humorous, practical and hugely creative. Sidney Harman uses plain language to catalogue the story of a remarkable company and its contributions to American enterprise and culture. A patriot businessman who cares, Harman has written a no-nonsense book you can’t put down — every page brims with ideas and principals that will help us all optimize our talents and lead more fulfilling lives.”
-Arthur Levitt, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
“It is the best book about business that I have ever read — by far. While at General Motors, I must have read Sloan’s important book several times; it contained much wisdom. However, Harman’s is not only profound. It sparkles, and the progression of thought is like a great work of music. In short, I was captivated from beginning to end.”
-Elmer Johnson, former executive vice-president and board member, General Motors; former president, The Aspen Institute; partner, Kirkland & Ellis law firm
“I have never read a book that made business so exciting, so interesting, and so, well, entertaining. Harman’s book should be required reading, especially at this time, to restore honor in the profession of management.”
-Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business at the University of Southern California and author of ON BECOMING A LEADER and co-author of GEEKS AND GEEZERS
From the Inside Flap
?The maverick?s way of conducting business forswears the leader as commanding general; it rejects the practice of top-down, authoritative command. Rather, it proposes the leader as catalyst, conscience, and inspirer . . . The true leader sees his job as setting an environment in which new ideas can emerge that neither he nor any other individual anticipated. That leap of imagination, that moment of genuine creativity, can only be inspired by a leader who encourages exploration and shows a willingness to consider a totally new approach.? --from Mind Your Own Business
The corporate misdeeds of self-serving executives during the high-octane economy of the 1990s have forced many people to rethink the qualities that make a strong leader. For sixty years, Sidney Harman, the chairman and CEO of the world?s premier manufacturer of high-end audio equipment, has stood apart from the crowd, building his business the old-fashioned way, by satisfying customers and, in doing so, making a healthy profit. His refreshingly employee-centric, bottoms-up approach to business is the secret of Harman International?s continuing success.
In Mind Your Own Business, Harman shares his visionary ideas about leadership, providing a welcome contrast to the bad behavior of business leaders recently dominating the news. Harman focuses on creating a culture of personal responsibility throughout his company. He likens his top management team to a jazz quartet that listens to and improvises with one another to create harmony. He stresses the need to do more for workers at every level because employees are the company?s most valuable asset. At Harman International, he has established in-house classrooms to teach English, basic math, health, and music, and encourages his employees to pursue their potential.
Now a hale and healthy eighty-five, Harman thinks that ?an idea a day? is more important than the proverbial apple and that the key to a long life is a restless curiosity. In the bestselling tradition of Max DePree?s Leadership Is an Art, Mind Your Own Business is a frank, no-nonsense guide for those who want to bring strength, vitality, and values to their businesses?and to their lives.