Synopses & Reviews
"Mandel stands out ... a true master of leadership"
Praise for It's All About Who
"The epitome of the American Dream, Mort Mandel has established himself as one of its greatest champions. In this book, he shares the secret of his success in both worlds: understanding the value of exceptional leadership and supporting it in every way possible."
—Vartan Gregorian, president, Carnegie Corporation of New York
"Mandel's principles are simple and straightforward, but highly effective. This book will clearly be invaluable to those leading business today, but also to teachers of management practice and their students—the managers of tomorrow."
—Ron Daniel, managing partner emeritus, McKinsey & Company
"In It's All About Who, Morton Mandel tells us the inspirational story of his life as a CEO and philanthropist. From Mandel, we learn lessons of leadership necessary to achieve the greatest levels of success!"
—Marshall Goldsmith, the author of New York Times best sellers MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There
"Leave it to a self-made billionaire and social entrepreneur to deliver the news: It's only about leadership. Morton Mandel shares his powerful story for the first time, and reveals the few well-tested practices that have generated so many extraordinary results. So stop what you're doing, get a copy of this book, and start changing your world."
—Mary Davis Holt, partner, Flynn Heath Holt Leadership; best-selling author, Break Your Own Rules
"Anchored in real-life experience, this is an absolutely fascinating and enlightening treatise on the number one imperative of leadership: attracting, developing, engaging, and retaining talent. This is a 'can't miss' classic written by people who should know. Well done!"
—Douglas R. Conant, former president, CEO, and director of Campbell's Soup Company; New York Times best-selling author, TouchPoints
For more on effective leadership, visit www.MortonMandel.com.
Leadership wisdom from a former CEO and Self-Made Billionaire
With corporations now associated in the public mind primarily with greed and unethical practices, it's more important than ever for leaders to move the focus back onto integrity, honesty, and doing the right thing. Mort Mandel, a CEO whom Peter Drucker esteemed in the same category as Jack Welch and Andy Grove, has spent the past seven decades mixing business and philanthropy, to the great enhancement of both. In this book Mandel shows how leaders can create lives of both meaning and profitability.
- Contains Mort Mandel's fascinating story (including his work with Peter Drucker, and the painful sale of Mandel's company)
- Provides both inspiration and lessons on the leadership skills such as building culture, customer relationships and execution that are necessary to achieve crossover success
- Shows how running a business and a nonprofit made Mandel a better entrepreneur and a self-made billionaire
The book is filled with lessons learned from how Mort Mandel built a $3 billion company from scratch, yet also managed to spend up to a third of his time in the social sector, building and supporting nonprofit organizations.
American business leader, entrepreneur, and noted philanthropist Morton Mandel shares lessons he gleaned from co-founding and leading, along with his brothers Jack and Joe, Premier Industrial Corporation, a major industrial parts and electronic components manufacturer and distributor. Now for readers everywhere who are interested in studying leadership development, It's All About Who describes Mandel's approach to finding, recruiting and cultivating -A- players.
In his book, Mandel shares his fine-tuned set of practices to develop leaders that have proven to deliver dramatically better results. Containing sixteen core sections, -It's All About Who- covers key strategic topics from -Building a Rich, Deep, and Ethical Culture- to -Killing Yourself for Your Customer- to -Using Business Ideas in the Social Sector.-
What makes Mandel unique is his selflessness in pursuing a life of purpose. Mandel has lived in two worlds: the world of profit and the world of social impact. Even as chairman and CEO of a New York Stock Exchange company for more than three decades, he spent as much as a third of his time in the social sector.
Mandel has personally founded more than a dozen non-profit organizations. His deep-seated passion is evident in the mission of his Foundation: -To invest in people with the values, ability and passion to change the world.-
It's All About Who
With his mind, his heart, and his hands, Mort Mandel has created an enormously successful life by every measure. What does it take to build an enduring company from the ground up? What does it take to transform a social enterprise into a high-performing organization that touches the lives of people around the world? What does it take to live a life that really matters? The answers to these questions can be found in the lessons that Mort Mandel can teach us. It's All About Who is not your typical CEO biography, nor is it yet another "management" book. Instead, it is the story of a man and the practices that have allowed him to craft a life of great significance.
The book reflects the dual perspective of someone with long-term commitments in two worldsthe for-profit and the not-for-profit sectors. Mandel explains that whether you want to earn more money or change the world, getting the best possible people into key roles is more important than anything else. He shows how improving the quality of leadership can lead to the other components for success: creative strategy, superb execution, and superior client or grantee satisfaction. And he illustrates how a commitment to values and the pursuit of excellence can deliver as much impact in the social world as in the corporate world. This is the essence of great leadershipand the basis of Mandel's conviction that a single individual has the power to change the world.
Throughout his unprecedented and fascinating American success story, Mandel underscores his fundamental belief that a life without meaning, purpose, and commitment isn't a life at all.
About the Author
is a self-made billionaire, entrepreneur and philanthropist. With his brothers, Jack and Joseph, he cofounded Premier Industrial Corporation in 1940, eventually merging it with Farnell Electronics in a $3 billion transaction. The brothers established the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, which funds numerous social leadership initiatives all over the world.
Mort was named by Peter Drucker as one of three impressive CEOs alongside Jack Welch and Andy Grove. He learned how to start and build enduring institutions from the ground up. His financial success and passion allowed him to partner with non-profits of all kinds with a laser-like focus on developing professional leadership, able to truly transform people’s lives. He has personally founded more than a dozen non-profit organizations. His deep-seated passion is evident in the mission of his Foundation: “To invest in people with the values, ability, and passion to change the world.”
Mort has fine-tuned a set of practices that have been proven to deliver dramatically better results. In his book, It’s All About Who…, he shows how important it is to find, recruit, and cultivate “A” players for leadership roles. This can lead to better strategies, better execution, and greater client satisfaction. Further, he believes that personal values matter – honesty, decency, respect, and generosity are essential elements in a life worth living.
John A. Byrne, the former executive editor of BusinessWeek and editor in chief of Fast Company magazine, is the author or coauthor of ten other business books, including two New York Times best sellers. With legendary General Electric Co. CEO Jack Welch, he wrote Jack: Straight from the Gut, one of the most successful business books in history.
Table of Contents
editor’s note by warren bennis xiii
foreword by john a. byrne xv
1 It’s All About Who 1
Hire the best • Seeking the enthusiastic yes • Five key things to look for • Hire when you don’t need to • Provide experience, demand the rest
2 The ABC’s of People 11
A simple truth revealed: relentlessly seek A players • Get rid of the C’s • Your fi rst loyalty is to the organization • Know the difference between what is acceptable and what is possible • A’s attract other A’s
3 Building a Rich, Deep, and Ethical Culture 21
Why it pays off big-time to (1) Do what’s right and (2) Treat others with respect, fairness, and decency • Never abandon principle • Being scrupulously honest is enlightened self-interest
4 What Happens When You Ignore Culture, People, and Values 33
The soft stuff is the real stuff • In deal making, too little attention is paid to culture fit • People, culture, and values bring competitive distinction • Often the so-called little things make a difference
5 What I Learned from Peter Drucker 51
Improving the team is the leader’s primary job • Put your best person on your biggest opportunity • Meet regularly with the second- and third-level staff as CEO • Meet and greet the rank-and-file before management
6 Killing Yourself for Your Customer 69
Why superior customer service is a huge missed opportunity • Find a need and fill it • Create a culture dedicated to service • Always ask yourself how you could do better • A company devoted to customer service is in the business of exceeding expectations
7 Principles Make a Difference 79
Rules make “doing” easier and better • Smart policies liberate employees • Commit an organization’s core learning to written, visible guidelines
8 Factbooks: Key to Personal Discipline 89
How thoughtful standardized practices lead to better performance • Great execution requires discipline and focus • A painstaking devotion to the details • Break down a manager’s tasks into small manageable steps • Hold yourself and everyone accountable
9 Why We Swung Our Acquisitions Bat to Hit Singles, Not Home Runs 95
Buying niches, not size, is safer and better • Look for undermanaged businesses • Make carefully calculated risks, not bet-the-company gambles • Try to hit singles, not home runs
10 Lighting Candles 103
Lighting even one candle changes the world • Allow others to come up with and to help shape ideas • Group ownership brings a better result • Involvement leads to understanding • Understanding leads to commitment
11 A Gospel of Wealth 115
Pursue philanthropy as systematically as business • Bet on people • Select tough, persistent problems to tackle • Create mission statements, clear goals, and formal work plans
12 Using Business Ideas in the Social Sector 121
Sound management practices work in every setting and are a huge “missed opportunity” in philanthropy • Powerful results can come from seemingly simple business tools • Benefit from the lessons of the best performers • Commit to the continuing development of people
13 An Olive Tree 129
A simple truth re-lived: treating others in the proper way pays off big-time • Make your company a great place to work • Fully satisfy your customers • Fully satisfy your shareholders
14 Yes, I Can! 137
My leadership journey in business and philanthropy started when I first believed “Yes, I can” • Believe in yourself and your ideas to make the world a better place • Success does not come only from breakthroughs but also from hard work
15 Some Beacons to Steer By 147
Reducing stress is not an easy task—but worth tackling in a serious way • Carefully plan every workday • Diet, exercise, and suffi cient rest • Adopt a formal personal system to help get more results • Think big, start small
16 If I Could Do It Over Again . . . 157
Why I would do the same thing over again in a heartbeat • Search for personal fulfi llment • Do something significant with your life • Respect who you are and how you have lived your life • Love what you do
the authors 179