The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success Review

”It is impossible to produce superior performance unless you do something different.” — John Templeton

What makes a successful CEO? Most people call to mind a familiar definition: a seasoned manager with deep industry expertise. Others might point to the qualities of today’s so-called celebrity CEOs—charisma, virtuoso communication skills, and a confident management style. But what really matters when you run an organization? What is the hallmark of exceptional CEO performance? Quite simply, it is the returns for the shareholders of that company over the long term.

In this refreshing, counterintuitive book, author Will Thorndike brings to bear the analytical wisdom of a successful career in investing, closely evaluating the performance of companies and their leaders. You will meet eight individualistic CEOs whose firms’ average returns outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of twenty—in other words, an investment of $10,000 with each of these CEOs, on average, would have been worth over $1.5 million twenty-five years later. You may not know all their names, but you will recognize their companies: General Cinema, Ralston Purina, The Washington Post Company, Berkshire Hathaway, General Dynamics, Capital Cities Broadcasting, TCI, and Teledyne. In The Outsiders, you’ll learn the traits and methods—striking for their consistency and relentless rationality—that helped these unique leaders achieve such exceptional performance.

Humble, unassuming, and often frugal, these "outsiders” shunned Wall Street and the press, and shied away from the hottest new management trends. Instead, they shared specific traits that put them and the companies they led on winning trajectories: a laser-sharp focus on per share value as opposed to earnings or sales growth; an exceptional talent for allocating capital and human resources; and the belief that cash flow, not reported earnings, determines a company’s long-term value.

Drawing on years of research and experience, Thorndike tells eye-opening stories, extracting lessons and revealing a compelling alternative model for anyone interested in leading a company or investing in one—and reaping extraordinary returns.

Title:The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Keenan Johnston

    The Outsiders is about 8 CEOs who have enjoyed far better returns on company stock than their peers or the market due to their ability to allocate both financial and human capital.I really liked this ...

  • Saurabh Shankar

    Its a great book focusing on some live examples of CEO's who have created value for shareholders.The last chapter "radical rationality" in itself is worth the price of book. Some of the key pointers o...

  • Bob Vaez

    It was a well written book, with interesting stories. But as a CEO I do not agree that the entire success of such ginormous organizations have been purely because of their CEOs and how they managed ca...

  • Adam Bratt

    Great overview of some amazing CEOs you've never heard of who embraced contrarian viewpoints and completely demolished benchmark returns by focusing on allocating capital....

  • Claire

    If you want to run your own business, be a CEO, or get some ideas of what you should look for in CEOs of companies you want to invest in, you should read this book.The eight CEOs Thorndike profiles al...

  • Tim O'Hearn

    Solid study packed with interesting tidbits of information. Inspired by Good to Great with better flow and less of the everybody's-a-winner feel. Notable is the detailed history of each of the busines...

  • Chris

    This is a great business book for any investor or anyone interested in management and leadership theory. Thorndike, a private equity investor by day, embarked on his research for this book not with th...

  • Dan Kim

    Similar to the book "Good to Great", but specifically about CEO's (rather than specific Companies) that tremendously outperformed the market with CAGRs that were astronomical compared to their peers a...

  • Matthew

    Looking to build and lead enterprises at scale? This book is a must read. Any book that changes the way you think, even just around the edges, should be cherished. This one goes further than that. ...

  • David

    Short but very insightful book. I read this based on Warren Buffett's recommendation in his latest annual report, and I agree with the Oracle's assessment!...