Book Summary: Mind Your Own Business

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    <br>This article is based on the following book:<br><br>Mind Your Own Business<br><br>A Maverick’s Guide to Business, Leadership and Life<br><br>Doubleday & Company, Inc., 2003<br><br>ISBN 0-385-50959-6<br><br>208 pages<br><br>A maverick is an independent person who will not go along <br>with the other members of a group (Oxford ESL <br>Dictionary).

    This book provides priceless stories and <br>insights from a maverick of the business world; an <br>exemplary business leader who prefers not to follow <br>orthodox beliefs in business, nor be eaten by the hyped <br>up ideas of the present. Instead, he chooses the course <br>of action that is appropriate for the changing times.<br><br>The Maverick’s Way: New Old Thing<br><br>What is effective?

    This is the question answered by the <br>maverick. He reconciles the good things from both the Old <br>and New times, and focuses on what is really effective in <br>confronting the challenges of 21st century business <br>dealings.<br><br>A maverick thinks outside of the bed, knows that it pays <br>to be daring, does not allow technology to tyrannize, <br>finds strength in diversity, maintains balance and <br>harmony among people, sets leadership by example, has a <br>strong ethical base, and values employees and customers.

    <br>A maverick knows his customers and believes strongly in <br>his products. <br><br>To a maverick, a company is a not just a big candy store. <br>It is a living instrument with living human beings. It <br>should have a HEART.<br><br>Keys to Leadership<br><br>The leader leads.
    He exercises critical judgment, which <br>will have a great impact on his people. <br><br>The leader defines the company. The leader’s <br>responsibility is to explicitly present and advocate the <br>company’s purposes and goals. <br><br>The leader inspires. He gives sense and meaning to the <br>job.

    He makes his people realize, that beyond profit <br>there is an underlying meaning, value, and deeper reason <br>for the work they do.<br><br>The leader should be the evangelist. He should be able <br>to exercise his influence, to sell the values of ethical <br>conduct.<br><br>The leader must see the company as a coherent whole.
    He <br>should be aware of the diversity in the company and <br>bring this together to promote the whole. <br><br>The leader must know that there is no better way to <br>create a family in the workplace than to encourage the <br>family at home. Harman International introduced the <br>anti-domestic violence program in the company, which <br>reinforces the idea that the company cares.<br><br>The leader should never underestimate the value of <br>disciplined hard work.<br><br>The leader empowers subordinates to do their jobs.

    He <br>should institute programs for the guidance and training <br>of his people. He should always keep the lines of <br>communication open.<br><br>The leader promotes closure. He should know the right <br>time to get things done.<br><br>The leader knows what he doesn’t know.

    The leader is not <br>afraid to ask clarifications, if he does not understand a <br>particular subject. <br><br>The leader knows the meaning of two minutes. He should <br>respect the time of others and that of his own. <br><br>The leader teaches.<br><br>Above all, the leader develops others.

    As Lao Tzu advanced: <br>“the leader having accomplished great things, the people <br>all feel they did it themselves…” <br><br>The very best leaders go beyond the mere setting of <br>example. He should be able to cause a leap of imagination <br>and faith in his people.<br><br>The leader recognizes that people are often at their very <br>best the moment they have been let go.

    There are times when <br>an employee doesn’t like the work anymore, or he is unable <br>to appreciate how the whole enterprise works- this is the <br>time to set him free. <br><br>A Company Must Be Profitable<br><br>1. A solid financial base is fundamental. <br><br>2.
    Debt should not exceed equity. A debt to equity ratio of <br>1 to 1 or better should be the goal, so that a company’s <br>leader and key executives do not spend all their time on <br>mere survival -paying bills, meeting the payroll, and keeping <br>the banks happy- but moving forward and meeting bigger <br>challenges and doing more visionary work.<br><br>3.

    There should be a regular process for annual strategic <br>planning and budget-planning. <br><br>The Fundamentals of Profit and Loss<br><br>1. Manage expectations, not the profits. Keep the <br>shareholders informed, to eliminate doubts of manipulating <br>numbers.<br><br>2.
    The Chairman and CEO should be financially literate. <br>They should know what the numbers really mean.<br><br>3. Good growth and profitability requires the exercise of <br>critical judgment. The leader should make certain that the <br>budget is one the company can live with.

    <br><br>4. In repurchasing the company’s own stocks, make sure that <br>it will add to the company’s earnings.<br><br>5. Look into the availability of funds so that the balance <br>sheet will not be compromised.<br><br>Make an Edge in the Business World<br><br>1.
    Writing. It is a unique and powerful skill you can use for <br>clarity and persuasion.<br><br>2 Public Speaking and Story-telling. Speak directly, and <br>without notes, to your audience. Individuals respond to a <br>well-told story.<br><br>3. Thinking.

    People do not respect sloppy thinking in a <br>leader. Thoughts should be carefully considered then <br>expressed directly, crisply, and clearly.

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