Here's what I liked about the book:
- Written by Howard Schultz (CEO) which gives a really cool inside perspective
- Gives a really cool inside look into a well known consumer brand
- Gives a lot of insight into HS's leadership style and some of his leadership habits
- A lot of choices they made with the brand were very fascinating (closing stores, getting back to the core competency, investing in training and development, etc).
Here's what I didn't like
- I don't think it was 100% genuine. I thought it was kind of a sales job, in that CEO sales job kind of way. I'd say it seemed 75% genuine.
- Telling the results of a turnaround story before time has run it's course is ridiculous, as is the general timing of the "turnaround." Hello, we were in a major rebound after a recession.
- HS comes across as annoying - sounds to me like he believes a lot of his on BS.
- I found the book to be a couple of hours too long.
I really enjoyed this book. Great insider look at the person, the process, and the culture of the company. I enjoyed that it was written by a fellow executive - gives the sensation that you've been observing Steve Jobs from his shoes. While I agree with another review that I read that the main takeaway from this book is that you are not Steve Jobs and you never will be, I still think there are tons of great ideas to draw on. Plus, it's just an interesting story. The only thing that I would have liked to be different was for the story to be organized chronologically rather than by theme. However, that's probably because I wasn't familiar with the Steve Jobs story to begin with.
For me, this book was everything that "Onward" (the new Starbucks book) was not. Firstly, it gives a fascinating look into what is probably the world's best example of a culture driven organization. This is a topic that fascinates me and is relevant to me professionally. But the big thing that made this different than other books written by CEO's is that it came across as truly genuine. Since reading it I have signed up to visit Zappos for a Zappos Insights 2-day boot camp and look forward to attending.
Whether you're a righty or lefty, this book puts together the puzzle pieces of how American politics has become so polarized over the last 20 years. It will not cause anyone to switch political parties, but it will explain how we got from point A to point B.
Roger Ailes is a media genius. He was the first to figure out that Americans vote based on how they feel rather than how they think, and that TV was the best way to communicate emotion.
Ailes was never a news person ("newsie" as they are called in the TV industry). Aisles will probably be the first to admit that. He is impervious to being shamed by fact-checking because that's not his game. Making money and persuading people to his conservative politics are his goals. His ends justify his means. Any means.
The author traces Ailes's humble beginnings from Warren Ohio to the NYC media vortex. As Ailes ages, he becomes increasingly paranoid and retaliatory. The last part of the book which deals with Ailes's war with his small NY hometown newspaper and local politicians is a microcosm of his life. It's unintentionally hilarious with an almost post-modern feel. They should teach this chapter in journalism school. It reminded me of The World According to Garp, except that it really happened.
The predictable, preemptive push-back by Ailes and his supporters is vintage Aisles. Rather than undermine the book's validity, ironically it serves as corroboration because it's so Aisle-ian.
Much of the book's criticism centers on Ailes not being interviewed. But the book's last chapter explains that the author quoted 614 live sources close to Ailes, most of whom were corroborated by other sources. The author asked Ailes a dozen times to be interviewed. Ailes tried hard to block this book, so why should he add to its credibility by consenting to being interviewed? This is also classic Ailes.
Regardless of your politics, you need to read or listen to this book to fully understand the most important American politician since Reagan. I seldom re-read or re-listen to a book, but I'm doing that now.