- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 9/23/12 edition (October 23, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1422162672
- ISBN-13: 978-1422162675
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 295 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success Hardcover – October 23, 2012
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One of the Most Important Business Books in America.” Forbes
This book completely changed my business life... If you want to build a company that generates incredible returns, this book should be on your required reading list.” Dave Morin, Founder & Partner, Slow Ventures as seen on Medium
easily the best investment or business book published in the past few years ” Brendan Matthews, Motley Fool
an important insider’s perspective, an unapologetic glimpse into the hard-core investor view of what success looks like.” Forbes.com
"It focuses on the less sexy but equally important job of a CEOcapital allocation." Mebane Faber, CIO and portfolio manager at Cambria Investment Management (Business Insider’s Wall Street Reading List for 2014)
Thorndike wants to give any manager or business owner the confidence to occasionally do things differently from your peers to make the most of the cards they’re dealt and to delight their shareholders.” Financial Times
[Thorndike's] findings turn received wisdom about CEO success on its head. It’s not revenue and profit growth, but the increase in a company’s per share value that offers the ultimate barometer of a CEO’s greatness Thorndike may have discovered an alchemic formula for CEO success. But will existing CEOs listen?” economia
Thorndike has done extensive research on each of the people features, and their success story makes for an inspiring and most definitely, compelling read.” The Hindu (India)
An extremely instructive read well worth the effort.” Business Traveller magazine
This is an eminently readable volume with plenty of lessons.” The Irish Times
ADVANCE PRAISE for The Outsiders:
Jim Collins, author, Good to Great; coauthor, Built to Last and Great by Choice
Will Thorndike dissects an eclectic and fascinating group of business leaders who created exceptional long-term value. He takes the unique angle of examining great CEOs as chief allocators of capital, so disciplined in their empirical rationality as to be nonconformists in the very best sense. Thorndike’s take is fresh, smart, and provocativeand well worth learning.”
Michael J. Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist, Legg Mason Capital Management; author, The Success Equation
Will Thorndike provides management principles that are as rock solid as they are rare and shares the engaging stories of eight CEOs who lived by them. The ideas in this book provide both executives and investors with the North Star of value. Follow it and prosper.”
Mason Hawkins, Chairman and CEO, Southeastern Asset Management
The Outsiders is a must-read for leadersand aspiring leadersstriving to become exceptional CEOs, and for investors interested in partnering with exceptional stewards of corporate capital.”
Walter Kiechel, author, The Lords of Strategy
If creating wealth for shareholders is the ultimate test of a CEO, meet the champions. The names of these outsiders’ may come as a surprise, but you will learn valuable strategic lessons from their iconoclastic ways.”
Thomas A. Russo, Partner, Gardner Russo & Gardner
The Outsiders celebrates leaders who kept their firms focused, rewarded their management despite long periods of inactivity, andby keeping their companies out of troublefound themselves free to pounce when compelling opportunities arose. A highly effective playbook for excellence.”
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As a graduate from a top MBA program, I can tell you that the book's topic is rarely studied at the world's best business schools. But that doesn't mean the lessons are not important. Far from it.
The basic premise is that a successful CEO needs to do two jobs - a) run their operations efficiently and b) decide how to deploy cash generated by those operations. Business schools are great at training future CEOs to do the first. The skills required to be effective at the second job is closer to those of an investor and aren't a focus for those entering Corporate America.
The Outsiders makes the case for why these jobs are not mutually exclusive and instead are both crucially important for a CEO to generate consistent outperformance overtime. The book profiles 8 CEOs whose day job more closely resemble a shrewd investor of a firm's resources than a prototypical CEO operator. The author shows how these CEOs are able to outperform the market and their peers by adhering to a common set of principles on how to allocate capital.
The Outsiders will not only help aspiring managers gain a better understanding of the value of capital allocation, but will also provide investors with a healthier appreciation of what great capital allocators look like.
As a venture capitalist and owner of many companies, I learn so many insightful strategies such as capital allocation, rolling up companies to maximize scale, margin and cash flow strategy to acquire companies. I get so many ideas to scale my investments.
Thanks William Thorndike to write an insightful book on capital allocation. Recommended for CEO, entrepreneurs and investors.
While some of the examples (Graham and Buffett) have been worn to death, others are very interesting reading, especially for the smaller companies and those that thrived in the 60's to the early 90's, a period that is often forgotten nowadays. He profiles a number of CEO's who substantially beat the market, using Jack Welch as a (low) benchmark, and looks for traits among them.
The traits he found were intense focus on operations but in a de-centralized manner, and yet big capital decisions (stock buy backs, acquistions) were made by the CEO him (or her) self. These examples also emphasized cash flow, which is a better long term predictor of stock success than EPS, a more widely used measure, as well as tax efficiency.
The ending of the book was a bit weak as he attempted to apply these techniques to an average businessperson say expanding a bakery; the logic is more compelling within the framework of the overall stock market.