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Jeff Bezos (Founder / Amazon)
"[The book is] a collection of memos to employees by the chairman of the now defunct investment bank Bear Stearns," Stone writes. "In his memos, Greenberg is constantly restating the bank's core values, especially modesty and frugality."
Introduction by Warren Buffett. Since taking over as chairman 18 years ago, Alan C. Greenberg--a cigar-smoking, shirt-sleeved trader from the old school--has transformed Bear Stearns into one of the most profitable investment banks in the financial industry. Many believe that periodic messages from the man who sits in the middle of the firm's trading floor set the tone at Bear Stearns. Now collected in Memos from the Chairman, here they are: humorous, sometimes biting, always inspiring memos that, taken together, comprise a unique--and uniquely simple--management philosophy.
On bureaucracy: Forget the chain of command! If you think somebody is going off the wall or his/her decision-making stinks, go around the person, and that includes me. On telephone manners: Transferring a call seems to require more athletic ability than some of our associates possess.
Be prepared for spot checks. . .those who flunk will get private lessons from me. On success: Remember that the Green Bay Packers won because they executed the fundamentals better than their competition. Trick plays make headlines, but winners execute the basics. On arrogance: Conceit and complacency are dangerous, particularly in our line of work. If I ever feel that the people at Bear Stearns start thinking their body odor is perfume and I cannot convince them otherwise--I will sell my stock.
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