Drawing on years of research and experience, Thorndike tells eye-opening stories, extracting lessons and revealing a compelling alternative model for anyone interested in leading a company or investing in one-and reaping extraordinary returns. A good read for any business leader but especially those willing to chart their own course. In The Outsiders , you'll learn the traits and methods--striking for their consistency and relentless rationality--that helped these unique leaders achieve such exceptional performance.
Drawing on years of research and experience, Thorndike tells eye-opening stories, extracting lessons and revealing a compelling alternative model for anyone interested in leading a company or investing in one--and reaping extraordinary returns. In 'The Outsiders', you'll learn the traits and methods--striking for their consistency and relentless rationality--that helped these unique leaders achieve such exceptional performance. Most people call to mind a familiar definition: -a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise.
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Humble, unassuming, and often frugal, these -outsiders- shunned Wall Street and the press, and shied away from the hottest new management trends. Includes the stories of eight extraordinary CEOs, who ignored or defied the conventional wisdom of their time and applied a common set of principles to achieve remarkable and enduring success. This title helps us learn the consistent and rational traits that helped these select leaders to achieve that exceptional performance. Reviews " 1 on Warren Buffett's Recommended Reading List" -- Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letter, "Thorndike wants to give any manager or business owner the confidence to occasionally do things differently from your peers 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? 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 provocative--and well worth learning. The ideas in this book provide both executives and investors with the North Star of value. Follow it and prosper.
The names of these 'outsiders' may come as a surprise, but you will learn valuable strategic lessons from their iconoclastic ways.
How 'The Outsiders' Became One Of The Most Important Business Books In America
A highly effective playbook for excellence. The names of these ;outsiders' may come as a surprise, but you will learn valuable strategic lessons from their iconoclastic ways. Show More Show Less. Add to Cart. Any Condition Any Condition. Last one Free shipping. See all Compare similar products.
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The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success
Nonfiction Books. We have ratings, but no written reviews for this, yet. I enjoyed the chapters on Warren Buffett and Katharine Graham the most. Katharine became CEO following the suicide of her husband. She was inexperienced but she trusted her gut. She did it all with poise, class and style. I also got confirmation again that introverts make good CEOs! Jun 09, Adam Bratt rated it really liked it.
Great overview of some amazing CEOs you've never heard of who embraced contrarian viewpoints and completely demolished benchmark returns by focusing on allocating capital. Mar 24, Claire rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction , finance-business. If you want to run your own business, be a CEO, or get some ideas of what you should look for in CEOs of companies you want to invest in, you should read this book.
The eight CEOs Thorndike profiles all excelled in capital allocation, i. Sounds simple enough, right? There's no simple template, however, as different circumstances yield different best moves. Those are great skills to have and understand. This book will give you a leg up. Jun 24, Punit rated it really liked it Shelves: finance , epub-kindle-pdf. This non-fiction book cannot simply be classified in a single sub-genre.
Author analyses and develops an analogy about workings of 8 frugal, humble, analytical, rational, pragmatic, cognoscenti, iconoclastic, idiosyncratic, unbiased, clear-eyed, highly understated, highly unconventional yet equally lucky CEOs. The book goes deep in the field of financial management stock offerings, buybacks, free cash flows, debt servicing, LBOs, capital allocation-which is one of the least discussed things yet This non-fiction book cannot simply be classified in a single sub-genre.
The book goes deep in the field of financial management stock offerings, buybacks, free cash flows, debt servicing, LBOs, capital allocation-which is one of the least discussed things yet one of the most important in finance, employees stock options and so on. However, it requires a basic understanding of accounting and finance to comprehend all the ideas given the lucid language of the book. It is an interesting and equally informative book. The author has closely analyzed how the CEOs maneuvered their companies excellently even during bad times and what were their insights for following a particular path.
Comparison of stock returns and other success measures with graphs and tables made things a bit simpler to understand. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. Happy reading! Apr 11, Liam Polkinghorne rated it it was amazing.
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- The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success.
Great book summarising the iconoclastic approach of a number of successful business leaders, using engaging case studies. They were typically first time CEOs with little prior managerial experience, focused on capital allocation rather than operations management or external communication, optimised long-term value per share rather than growth, focused on margins, returns and free cash flow rather than revenue and net income, and had a long-term orientation. They disdained dividends, made discipl Great book summarising the iconoclastic approach of a number of successful business leaders, using engaging case studies.
They disdained dividends, made disciplined occasionally large acquisitions, used leverage selectively, bought back a lot of stock, minimised taxes and ran decentralised organisations. Also share an interesting set of personal characteristics: generally frugal, humble, analytical and understated and did not relish the outward-facing part of the CEO role.
- How 'The Outsiders' Became One Of The Most Important Business Books In America.
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Their advantage relative to their peers was one of temperament, not intellect. Relies on the compound annual return to shareholders and return over the same period for peer companies and the broader market as benchmarks. Apr 22, Jan rated it really liked it. Mar 21, Harish Vaidyanathan rated it really liked it. Nov 19, Danielle Morrill rated it it was amazing. Makes me hungry to do some deals! Mar 16, Tim O'Hearn rated it really liked it.
Solid study packed with interesting tidbits of information. Inspired by Good to Great with better flow and less of the everybody's-a-winner feel. Notable is the detailed history of each of the businesses, which were all meticulously crafted. A valuable book especially for those interested in private equity.
Feb 26, Chris rated it really liked it. This is a great business book for any investor or anyone interested in management and leadership theory. Thorndike, a private equity investor by day, embarked on his research for this book not with the goal of writing a book but simply to see if he could identify any trends among the top performing CEO's of the past half century.
What he found was a very clear trendline for what drives extraordinary returns that goes against a lot of mainstream management theory.
The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success
I started reading the book alread This is a great business book for any investor or anyone interested in management and leadership theory. My favorite part in reading the book was the the specifics of the examples, all of which were fascinating in some way and definitely worth reading. Thorndike did a great job succinctly summarizing a lot of research about the 8 CEO's he selected and highlighting the trendline - a singular focus on cash flow, stingy use of equity and higher than average use of debt to optimize capital structure, and timely acquisitions of other companies and one company's own stock to optimize returns on equity.
It is impressive how well Thorndike was able to highlight the similarities from eight examples from different eras and completely different industries and show how the trend he has identified is not limited to a specific time or circumstance. However, in focusing on the similarities while keeping the book short and very readable, he was forced to gloss over a lot of operational and strategic details behind each company's success. I think this risks oversimplifying some of the examples and thus cannot be read as a comprehensive case study of each example.
That said, Thorndike's main point is to highlight the trendline he found and not necessarily by a book of eight comprehensive case studies, and I think he does a great job doing that. It would be interesting to see someone else pick up his work and do a deeper dive on the eight examples and give more of the strategic and operational story of each company. Personally, as an investor, I am pretty familiar with the capital allocation topics covered but would love to hear more about the strategic moves the company made that were also important to the outstanding returns, specifically how each company approached acquisition strategy and maybe what were some deals they didn't do that could have impacted their returns.
May 03, Parth Belani rated it it was ok. The author, William N. He considers such CEOs as truly outstanding CEOs and has explored their backgrounds, management approaches and major decisions taken by them to achieve extraordinary returns for their shareholders. Personality wise these outsider CEOs have been generally frugal, humble, analytical, understated, not-so-charismatic and did not seek much spotlight. The book has been written in a simple and readable manner and conveys its message very clearly. Also, I felt that although the book is more informative in nature, it is not highly insightful.
Mar 08, Dan Kim rated it liked it. It was essentially 8 case studies and then the last chapter showing the commonalities between them all. Good reference book to read what great managers look like. Super rare breeds and difficult to identify but the book gives clues as to the behaviour and how to find those good managers by watching their actions.
Jan 16, Nadeen Matthews rated it really liked it. An interesting read on the commonalities among a group of unconventional CEOs with outstanding performance track records. So I plan to read her personal memoir. A few take aways for me based on her specifi An interesting read on the commonalities among a group of unconventional CEOs with outstanding performance track records. A few take aways for me based on her specific journey; 1 Be courageous and hold fast to your principles 2 Surround yourself with smart people who may know much more than you do.
This includes advisors and mentors 3 Commit to a lifetime of learning 4 If you can learn, you can do the job. Research has shown that women only apply for jobs when they meet the majority of items listed in the job description while men will shoot their shot with a sliver of the qualifications. Apr 23, Mohammad rouk rated it it was ok. Apr 26, C. About a third of the book is the book repeating itself, often in the same language.
Part of me really wants a frequency table for this book; how often can 'legendary' be used to describe a real person? It might have been insightful in , when we were broadly still reeling from the crisis, but in it's tired, tired, tired. That said, the author probably makes more money in a year than I'll see in my lifetime; so what do I know? Also, the misuse and misappropriation of the etymology of 'iconoclast' was vexatious to me.
Can't remember the last time I marked up a book so thoroughly. A must-read for left-brainers who'd like to run a business some day. Oct 03, Sergio Vera rated it it was amazing. Great book if you are a big corporation CEO and you need to alocate capital. Otherwise has some good pointers to day to day business and gives a good synopsis of some of the best CEOs throughout history. Dec 30, Matthew rated it it was amazing. Looking to build and lead enterprises at scale?
This book is a must read. Any book that changes the way you think, even just around the edges, should be cherished. This one goes further than that. Dec 28, Andrea rated it it was ok. This was a short read, but tough to get through because there was a lot of data about why the author considered these CEOs as outsiders - or the most successful CEOs ever.
Keep your corporate employees minimal, hire the right people, and let them manage the businesses with little interference. Mar 10, David rated it it was amazing. Short but very insightful book. I read this based on Warren Buffett's recommendation in his latest annual report, and I agree with the Oracle's assessment! Jan 02, Ramona Mandu rated it really liked it. Must read for all current and future business owners and entrepreneurs. May 19, Patrick Lopes rated it it was amazing. Best finance and business book. Aug 21, InvestingByTheBooks.
William Thorndike has done the world of skilled but less-than-flamboyant CEOs and long-term investors alike a massive favour. The simple approach behind the book is both its beauty and its beast; by screening for U. This dual herculean demand of 20,9 per cent annually over a minimum of twenty years weeded out all but eight CEOs. The Outsiders bring you the stories, common traits and lessons from these truly outstanding leaders. William Thorndike is a Harvard and Stanford alumni and founder of the investment firm Housatonic Partners. His investor angle shines through in several ways; mainly in the call for a clear numbers-based yardstick in defining greatness total shareholder return over the long term and in the great effort of finding common, identifiable traits between these leaders.
Truly mindboggling. In essence, as opposed to the pure luck factor in explaining winners of a coin-tossing game, if there are several successful members from the same population, one can safely assume a clear involvement of skill. Among the more important ones in my opinion are the laser-like focus on capital allocation where timely buy-backs are a heavy ingredient , decentralisation taken to an extreme, running the business on cash flow instead of earnings and keeping a very low public profile.
Crucially, Thorndike manages to bring out supporting anecdotes and real-life evidence in all eight CEO-studies, making these shared specific traits reality, rather than just fancy words. There are of course plenty of things separating these managers as well - had there been a Singletonian blueprint for how to produce a 20 times shareholder relative return, it would soon have lost its allure. Some used more debt, some less. Some diversified outside of core operations, but most did not. Some restructured heavily, some kept compounding away. However, they were all unconventional. But oh how hard it is, both to do and to believe in.
Like restaurants, certain stocks are just not for everyone. And so it is with most of these eight companies. Another reminder that investing actually does offer second chances. Apr 29, Shane Thompson rated it really liked it.