The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

( 1 )

Overview


“An outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation.”
Warren Buffett

#1 on Warren Buffett’s Recommended Reading List, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letter, 2012

What makes a successful CEO? Most people call to mind a familiar definition: “a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise.” Others might point to the qualities of today’s so-called celebrity CEOs—charisma, virtuoso ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$17.25
BN.com price
(Save 36%)$27.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (23) from $10.00   
  • New (15) from $13.98   
  • Used (8) from $10.00   
The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$27.00 List Price

Overview


“An outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation.”
Warren Buffett

#1 on Warren Buffett’s Recommended Reading List, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letter, 2012

What makes a successful CEO? Most people call to mind a familiar definition: “a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise.” Others might point to the qualities of today’s so-called celebrity CEOs—charisma, virtuoso communication skills, and a confident management style. But what really matters when you run an organization? What is the hallmark of exceptional CEO performance? Quite simply, it is the returns for the shareholders of that company over the long term.

In this refreshing, counterintuitive book, author Will Thorndike brings to bear the analytical wisdom of a successful career in investing, closely evaluating the performance of companies and their leaders. You will meet eight individualistic CEOs whose firms’ average returns outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of twenty—in other words, an investment of $10,000 with each of these CEOs, on average, would have been worth over $1.5 million twenty-five years later. You may not know all their names, but you will recognize their companies: General Cinema, Ralston Purina, The Washington Post Company, Berkshire Hathaway, General Dynamics, Capital Cities Broadcasting, TCI, and Teledyne. 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.

Humble, unassuming, and often frugal, these “outsiders” shunned Wall Street and the press, and shied away from the hottest new management trends. Instead, they shared specific traits that put them and the companies they led on winning trajectories: a laser-sharp focus on per share value as opposed to earnings or sales growth; an exceptional talent for allocating capital and human resources; and the belief that cash flow, not reported earnings, determines a company’s long-term value.

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation.” — Warren Buffett

“One of the Most Important Business Books in America.” — Forbes

“… 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 CEO—capital 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 provocative—and 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 leaders—and aspiring leaders—striving 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, and—by keeping their companies out of trouble—found themselves free to pounce when compelling opportunities arose. A highly effective playbook for excellence.”

Library Journal
In this heavily researched group of profiles, Thorndike, the founder of a private equity firm, identifies eight CEOs as among the most effective but least publicized business leaders of the 20th century. The author began his work on corporate outliers a decade ago with a conference presentation on Henry Singleton, the CEO of Teledyne. His research on seven other iconoclastic leaders who eschewed the limelight while consistently adding value for their stockholders provides a new way to measure the performance of CEOs. Thorndike shows how a company's returns relative to peers and the market as a whole and the increase in per share value give a true indication of the health of a company. Case studies are provided for each CEO as well as comparisons to peer companies over the same period. VERDICT Thorndike's analysis of these overlooked business executives will appeal to business school students and investors looking for a way to evaluate companies outside marketplace chatter. Highly recommended.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422162675
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 54,955
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


William N. Thorndike is founder and a managing director of Housatonic Partners, a private equity firm. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business and has been a guest lecturer at the Harvard and Stanford business schools. He is a director of eight companies, and two not-for-profit organizations and lives in the Boston area with his wife and two children.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface: Singletonville vii

Introduction: An Intelligent Iconoclasm 1

1 A Perpetual Motion Machine for Returns: Tom Murphy and Capital Cities Broadcasting 13

2 An Unconventional Conglomerateur: Henry Singleton and Teledyne 37

3 The Turnaround: Bill Anders and General Dynamics 59

4 Value Creation in a Fast-Moving Stream: John Malone and TCI 83

5 The Widow Takes the Helm: Katharine Graham and The Washington Post Company 109

6 A Public LBO: Bill Stiritz and Ralston Purina 129

7 Optimizing the Family Firm: Dick Smith and General Cinema 149

8 The Investor as CEO: Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway 167

9 Radical Rationality: The Outsider's Mind-Set 197

Epilogue: An Example and a Checklist 215

Acknowledgments 221

Appendix: The Buffett Test 225

Notes 227

Further Reading 233

Index 235

About the Author 251

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

    Sample

    Wish this book offered a sample to read via nook.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)