Synopses & Reviews
Praise for Raising the Bar
"What makes this book worth reading is that he's as honest about his mistakes as his successes."
"Best Mom & Pop business in America"
—Reader's Digest America's 100 Best
"Gary Erickson realizes that businesses have tremendous power to harm or protect the natural world, our common home. I applaud the efforts of Gary and Clif Bar to develop business practices that promote an ethic of global responsibility."
—Mikhail S. Gorbachev, chairman, Green Cross International
"Gary Erickson believes that doing good and doing business should go hand in hand. Raising the Bar tells the inspiring story of a scrappy company's battle to stay privately owned and to better its people, the community, and the planet in the process."
—Ben Cohen, cofounder, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and president, TrueMajority.org
"This is a beautiful book about courage, commitment, integrity, and vision. It is also a story that reminds us that one person does make a difference by leading the way through the inspiration of the heart."
—Julia Butterfly Hill, author, The Legacy of Luna
"Gary Erickson's story is sheer inspiration. Reading it makes you want to ride a bike up a high mountain, dust off your musical instrument and join a jazz band, or launch an outrageous company. This is a life manual masquerading as a business book."
—David Batstone, author, Saving the Corporate Soul; professor of ethics, University of San Francisco
"In Raising the Bar, Gary Erickson's incredible journey raises our expectations of corporate America and most importantly our hope for a better world."
—Jeanne Rizzo, R.N., executive director, The Breast Cancer Fund
In April of 2000, Gary Erickson turned down a $120 million offer to buy his thriving company. Today, instead of taking it easy for the rest of his life and enjoying a luxurious retirement, hes working harder than ever. Why would any sane person pass up the financial opportunity of a lifetime?
Raising the Bar tells the amazing story of Clif Bars Gary Erickson and shows that some things are more important than money. Gary Erickson and coauthor Lois Lorentzen tell the unusual and inspiring story about following your passion, having the freedom to create, sustaining a business over the long haul, and living responsibly in your community and on the earth.
Raising the Bar chronicles Clif Bars ascent from a homemade energy bar to a $100 million phenomenon with an estimated 35 million customers and a company hailed by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States four years in a row. The book is filled with compelling stories from Ericksons lifetrekking in the Himalaya Mountains, riding his bicycle over roadless European mountain passes, climbing in the Sierra Nevadaas inspiration for his philosophy of business. Throughout the book, Ericksona competitive cyclist, jazz musician, world traveler, mountain climber, wilderness guide, and entrepreneurconvinces us that sustaining one's employees, community, and environment is good business.
If you are a manager, executive, business owner, or board member, Raising the Bar is your personal guide to corporate integrity. If you are a sports enthusiast, environmentalist, or adventure lover, or intrigued by a unique corporate culture, or just interested in a good story, Raising the Bar is for you.
About the Author
is the founder and owner of Clif Bar Inc., a company that made the Inc. 500—Inc.
magazine’s list of the fastestgrowing privately held companies four years running. Clif Bar Inc. remains one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. He has been featured in People
magazine, Health, Fortune Small Business,
the San Francisco Chronicle, Reader’s Digest,
and in numerous other publications. Erickson is a frequent speaker in a wide variety of venues and has won numerous awards. He brings his background as a competitive cyclist, jazz musician, world traveler, gourmet cook, mountain climber, wilderness guide, and father to Raising the Bar.
Gary Erickson lives in northern California with his wife, children, horses, dogs, and bikes.
Lois Ann Lorentzen is professor of social ethics at the University of San Francisco. She serves on the board of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, the Center for Latino Studies in the Americas, and the Religion and Immigration Project. She has seven books to her credit, contributes frequently to magazines and journals, and has won numerous academic awards.
Erickson and Lorentzen first met while working for Sierra Treks, a wilderness organization. Over the course of their twenty-fiveyear friendship they have climbed mountains together, bicycled, skied, winter-camped, and talked about the dreams and values that define Clif Bar Inc. and Raising the Bar.
Table of Contents
1 Send Them Home
(Or, Why Walk Away From $60 Million?)
2 The Epiphany Ride
(The Early Years of Clif Bar).
3 A Drifting Boat
(Getting Clif Back on Course).
4 White Road / Red Road
(A Philosophy for Life and Business).
5 Tales From the Road
(Nine Lessons and a Love Story).
6 Solo Climbing
(Maintaining Control for the Long Haul).
7 Sustaining Our Living Company
(Five Aspirations Business Model).
8 Moments of Magic
(The Jazz of Business).
About the Authors.