Mavericks At Work CD: Beyond Business as Usual--a Whole New Way to Lead, Compete, and Succeed by William C. Taylor

Among the Best Business Books you will ever read – BUY IT NOW!!!!, December 4, 2006

This book is nothing short of wonderful. It is enthralling. You will probably not be able to put it down. The bottom line is that this book is about BEST PRACTICES in younger companies, some of which are not so young. You won’t find the secrets of IBM’s turnaround here, but you will find other secrets of IBM that are mind-blowing. This book is about cutting edge people doing cutting edge things. They are innovators. They are exciting. They are making things happen. It’s about a unique group of people finding BEST PRACTICES and IMPLEMENTING THEM.

I read at least a book a day. I run money for a living, and it has afforded me the opportunity to do what I want. What I love to do is just absorb information from a multitude of disciplines. You have to be efficient about it. I strive to not be involved with repetitive tasks. I NEED the new and innovative constantly. Most people unfortunately spend their days doing the same thing over and over again. Even heart surgery becomes ROUTINE after a while.

In the business world, companies seek to develop routines and then have their employees fit into the routine, and do the same thing over and over again. Donald Trump, years ago mentioned in a meeting, “Your business is fascinating, it’s Wall Street, it’s something new every day. My business is the same thing over and over again. I know the price of a pound of concrete, and a pound of steel, but your business changes all the time.” He was completely right, which brings us to Mavericks at Work.

The reason why you want to read this book is because it is going to VASTLY ACCECELERATE your understanding of BEST PRACTICES in the business world. You will meet the Chairman of Commerce Bank, one of the fastest growing banks in the United States. In the book, he states that his favorite book is Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Guys Grew The Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion, written by Bernie Marcus, and Arthur Blanc the two gentlemen that started Home Depot. How valuable it is to have that input. This alone was worth the entire price of the book. Commerce Bank gives the book to everyone they hire. It is required to read it from cover to cover.

Some of the fantastic concepts you will learn about in Mavericks at Work include:

Why does your company exist? Most companies can’t even answer the question. The answer usually given is to make money, which clearly is not the right answer.
The magic of OPEN SOURCE thinking. A Canadian gold mining company has to try to figure out how to spend $10 million looking for additional gold on their properties. What do they do? They violate every rule in the book by putting a contest on the Internet asking all the great geologists of the world to enter into a contest to submit a plan as to how to spend the $10 million.

The company sets aside $500,000 to allocate prize money, plus an awards dinner for the best submissions. The results blow away the expectations. This is open source thinking at its best. In the future, the whole world is going to go this way. The best thinking for your company is OUTSIDE your company. The question is how to access it.
There’s the story of ING Direct. A huge INTERNET based bank that is violating every rule of traditional banking imaginable. The result is that they are creating 5 to 10 times as many deposits per employee as every other player in the game.
It’s Not TV, it’s HBO – You will be mesmerized by how HBO does it. How does HBO take what has turned out to be a copycat industry, and year in year out create NEW, INNOVATIVE shows? It’s just incredible to see how they stay ahead of the curve in the fiercest industry there is.
One company asks itself this question every day. What are 10 reasons why we are going to go out of business? They then do whatever they have to do to make sure those reasons aren’t valid for their company.
One company has a WOW Department. They have employees fighting to get into the department whose responsibility is to implement policies that will make the customer go WOW. Who thinks like this? Do you think Sears is doing this kind of thinking? What about the cable company down the street? Forget about it. In the book we have unique people doing unique things.

You are going to love this book. I not only read it and underlined it, and annotated the margins; I also bought the audio version. Let me spend a moment on audio books, in case you haven’t tried them. If you are currently listening to FM radio during your car time, you are wasting your time. This is valuable time, and you have to use it productively. You don’t want to be a ZOMBIE in your world, no matter what you do. Listening to a recorded version of a book is nothing short of fantastic.

I probably spend about an hour a day listening to recorded versions of books on different concepts. It may be something like this book, Mavericks at Work. It could be courses. I do a lot of courses including some of the best professors in the business. From ancient Greek philosophy to 20th century Mid East relations, it doesn’t matter; you need to keep your brain alive.

As far as Mavericks at Work is concerned, I found the audio version to be fabulous. You also as a rule want a professional reader to be doing the audio version as opposed to the author. Most of these authors should stick to writing. They have no business doing the audio versions. There are exceptions. If you have an interesting speaker who is also the author, than by all means get that version. As an example if Bill Clinton was dictating his own book on the audio version which he did, you would want that version.

In Mavericks at Work, they used a professional speaker. It made all the difference in the world. When I did the written version, I found that the audio version basically covered it all. This has something to do with filler. If you have a knowledge of the publishing industry than you will know that many publishers tell the author I need 400 pages in this book. Even if the author doesn’t have 400 pages, he will have to create it. Many books can have a lot of filler in them. In the audio version, they can distill it down to its vital essence. No matter what version you used, you will want to get hold of Mavericks at Work, and devour it. Make it your own.