Your Company Sucks: It's Time to Declare War on Yourself


It's every businessperson's nightmare: his or her company is failing, dysfunctional, stuck in neutral, and/or is disappointing overall, from the finances to the customer feedback.

Put bluntly—but candidly—the company sucks.

That's the bad news. The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way.

Every business can rebound from its lows, regain its momentum, thrill its ...

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Your Company Sucks: It's Time to Declare War on Yourself

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It's every businessperson's nightmare: his or her company is failing, dysfunctional, stuck in neutral, and/or is disappointing overall, from the finances to the customer feedback.

Put bluntly—but candidly—the company sucks.

That's the bad news. The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way.

Every business can rebound from its lows, regain its momentum, thrill its customers, and be the source of pride and profits its owners and shareholders seek.

This U-turn must begin with you, the owner or senior manager, declaring war on yourself. You must face the fact that the malaise the business suffers from is ultimately your responsibility and your doing, and even more important,that it will not be rectified unless you take the lead. Face the hard truth. Take the difficult actions. Demonstrate determination, creativity and resolve.

This insightful book makes three points clear:

1. The key to long term business success is for the leader to declare war on him/herself so that the company never rests on its laurels.

2. Only four factors lead to business failure/decline/lack of growth/dysfunctionality. Identifying and addressing these plagues is the focus of the war.

3. Customer satisfaction is a curse in disguise. The overwhelming need is to thrill your customers/clients.

Your Company Sucks pulls back the curtain on business performance to reveal the four reasons businesses decline. It identifies your company's red flags, and provides a powerful and innovative methodology to transition from failure to flourish. It's not too late to turn your company around—go from sucking to soaring!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Should make every CEO take the time to stop, to think, to act!”
—Rich Parlontieri, CEO and President, Speedemissions, Inc.

"This is a book that every business owner needs to read. The challenges we face today in the world of commerce are clearly identified with brilliant clarity by Mark Stevens. Reading this is like having Mark personally guide you and your team through the process of identifying exactly where you are in the life of your company, and more importantly, what to do about it."
—Dennis Curtin, Regional Owner, RE/MAX Mid-states & Dixie Region

“Mark Stevens offers a vitamin boost into the blood stream of business; an elixir for newbie entrepreneurs and war-weary tycoons alike.”
—Ben Koether, Chairman and Founder of Kitchen Brains

"Immediately useful, and wildly inspirational (no matter what size business you run). Filled with practical ideas and entertaining stories, Mark Stevens helps you identify how your company sucks and gives you an action plan for doing a U-turn."
—Regis Hadiaris, Creator of the Dot Connector Blog, Director of Internet Marketing for Quicken Loans

"I absolutely love this brutally honest and practical approach to life—and business. Your Company Sucks motivates me to sleep less because I am so excited about working on the many things in the book that ring true to me and need attention in my business. Bravo, Mark Stevens, on your courageous approach to being aware of the obvious and actually coming directly to the point about how to change for the better."
—Joseph Essa, President, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.

"Sometimes the simplest explanation is also the best. If your company is struggling you may not have to look further than the mirror to find the cause. Mark Stevens knows that. More importantly, within these pages he tells you what to do to get back on track."
—Paul B. Brown, New York Times financial columnist

“It’s an easy read that can make a middle seat tolerable.”
—Joseph Mancuso, founder of CEO Clubs, Inc.

Library Journal
CEO of MSCO, Inc., a marketing services company, Stevens offers a rehash of ho-hum marketing and business suggestions in this short treatise on understanding the failures of your company and reinvigorating your business. He cites four main reasons businesses fail (ineffective leadership; "lust-to-lax syndrome," or hot and cold customer treatment; incompetence; and conventional thinking) and illustrates them with examples before making his recommendations. For someone who states that business leaders should avoid conventional thinking patterns, his suggestions are conventional in the extreme: "declare war on complacency" (war metaphors pop up throughout) by not promoting through tenure alone; make an "action plan" for change; "thrill" your current customers with little unexpected extras. The book is not particularly well organized, although it is a fast and simple read. VERDICT Stevens's previous Your Marketing Sucks was a Business Week best seller, and he writes the business blog Unconventional Thinking (, so some readers may seek out this title; however, other authors, e.g., Seth Godin, have more notoriety and cover much the same territory. For readers looking for basic ideas without a big-time investment, this might be an acceptable title.—Sarah Statz Cords, The Reader's Advisor Online
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935618546
  • Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Stevens is a bestselling author, CEO of MSCO, a results-driven management and marketing firm, and a popular media commentator on a host of business matters including marketing, branding, management and sales. Stevens is known for delivering business insights with blunt truth and unconventional wisdom.

Mark Stevens shook the marketing establishment with his BusinessWeek bestseller, Your Marketing Sucks (Random House/Crown Business, 2003), and redefined the rules of sales with God Is A Salesman. He is the author of 24 business-related books, including the bestsellers: The Big Eight; King Icahn; Sudden Death: The Rise and Fall of EF Hutton (a Wall Street Journal bestseller and Library Journal "Business Book of the Year").

Stevens' incisive understanding of critical business issues is geared toward achieving extraordinary growth and success for his clients. His firm, MSCO, represents a stellar roster of clients. Through integrated marketing campaigns, MSCO focuses on achieving financial results for its clients instead of awards that serve egos. Stevens possesses an innovative and iconoclastic view of the business world.

He is an in-demand speaker at organizations from Siemens, Virgin Air, Nike and Oracle to the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. A frequent guest commentator, Stevens lends his insights and opinions on a wide variety of topics, from Carl Icahn’s latest moves (Fox Business Channel) to Tom Cruise's image (Fox News Channel), to "Why Successful Business People Don't Sleep" (The New York Times) and how to "Be a Better Boss in 2007" (

His wildly successful blog, "Unconventional Thinking," is in the top 1 percent of all published blogs (out of 95 million blogs) and was recently named in the top 10 of all marketing blogs. Stevens is regular guest blogger for and the Digital PR blogger for PR News Online. More about Mark Stevens can be found at

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Table of Contents

Warning i

1 Your Business Woes Are Keeping You Up at Night 1

2 Effective Leaders Create Good Company Cultures 15

3 Declare War on Complacency and Incompetence 33

4 Where Are You in the Business Lifecycle? 47

5 sYou Don't Have to Stay Where You Are 67

6 An Action Plan for Change 73

7 Woo Your Customers: The Power of the Thrill 85

8 Thrill to the Nth Degree: Learn from the Masters 101

9 Does Your Business Thrill? Rank Your Business on the Thrill-O-Meter 113

10 The Element of Surprise: Only the Unexpected Is Thrilling 123

11 The Power of Thrilled: Six Ways to Infuse Your Business with Jet Fuel 133

12 Monetize the Thrill-A Management Road Map 145

13 Is Your Company More Than the Sum of Its Parts? 173

14 If You Were Handed the Company, Chances Are You Don't Know How to Run It 183

About the Author 191

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