Synopses & Reviews
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, he's 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 Bar's 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, 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 Bar's ascent from a homemade energy bar to a $100 million phenomenon with an estimated 35 million consumers, and a company hailed by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. four years in a row. The book is filled with compelling personal stories from Erickson's life trekking in the Himalayan mountains, riding his bicycle over roadless European mountain passes, climbing in the Sierra Nevada range as inspiration for his philosophy of business. Throughout the book, Erickson a competitive cyclist, jazz musician, world traveler, mountain climber, wilderness guide, and entrepreneur convinces 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, adventure lover, intrigued by a unique corporate culture, or just interested in a goodstory, Raising the Bar is for you.
The Fascinating Story of Clif Bar's Maverick Founder, Gary Erickson
"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
"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
About the Author
–businessman, consummate outdoor enthusiast, and environmentalist–is founder of Clif Bar Inc. Erickson has been featured in People, Health, Fortune Small Business, Reader's Digest, and many other magazines as well as newspapers and television.
Lois Lorentzen is professor of social ethics at the University of San Francisco. She is the author or editor of seven books and holds national offices with both academic and nonprofit organizations.
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.