Book Summary: Mind Your Own Business

Aug 31


Regine P. Azurin

Regine P. Azurin

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This article is based on the ... ... Your Own ... ... Guide to ... ... and ... & Company, Inc., 2003ISBN ... pagesA maverick is an independ


This article is based on the following book:

Mind Your Own Business

A Maverick’s Guide to Business,Book Summary: Mind Your Own Business Articles Leadership and Life

Doubleday & Company, Inc., 2003

ISBN 0-385-50959-6

208 pages

A maverick is an independent person who will not go along
with the other members of a group (Oxford ESL
Dictionary). This book provides priceless stories and
insights from a maverick of the business world; an
exemplary business leader who prefers not to follow
orthodox beliefs in business, nor be eaten by the hyped
up ideas of the present. Instead, he chooses the course
of action that is appropriate for the changing times.

The Maverick’s Way: New Old Thing

What is effective? This is the question answered by the
maverick. He reconciles the good things from both the Old
and New times, and focuses on what is really effective in
confronting the challenges of 21st century business

A maverick thinks outside of the bed, knows that it pays
to be daring, does not allow technology to tyrannize,
finds strength in diversity, maintains balance and
harmony among people, sets leadership by example, has a
strong ethical base, and values employees and customers.
A maverick knows his customers and believes strongly in
his products.

To a maverick, a company is a not just a big candy store.
It is a living instrument with living human beings. It
should have a HEART.

Keys to Leadership

The leader leads. He exercises critical judgment, which
will have a great impact on his people.

The leader defines the company. The leader’s
responsibility is to explicitly present and advocate the
company’s purposes and goals.

The leader inspires. He gives sense and meaning to the
job. He makes his people realize, that beyond profit
there is an underlying meaning, value, and deeper reason
for the work they do.

The leader should be the evangelist. He should be able
to exercise his influence, to sell the values of ethical

The leader must see the company as a coherent whole. He
should be aware of the diversity in the company and
bring this together to promote the whole.

The leader must know that there is no better way to
create a family in the workplace than to encourage the
family at home. Harman International introduced the
anti-domestic violence program in the company, which
reinforces the idea that the company cares.

The leader should never underestimate the value of
disciplined hard work.

The leader empowers subordinates to do their jobs. He
should institute programs for the guidance and training
of his people. He should always keep the lines of
communication open.

The leader promotes closure. He should know the right
time to get things done.

The leader knows what he doesn’t know. The leader is not
afraid to ask clarifications, if he does not understand a
particular subject.

The leader knows the meaning of two minutes. He should
respect the time of others and that of his own.

The leader teaches.

Above all, the leader develops others. As Lao Tzu advanced:
“the leader having accomplished great things, the people
all feel they did it themselves…”

The very best leaders go beyond the mere setting of
example. He should be able to cause a leap of imagination
and faith in his people.

The leader recognizes that people are often at their very
best the moment they have been let go. There are times when
an employee doesn’t like the work anymore, or he is unable
to appreciate how the whole enterprise works- this is the
time to set him free.

A Company Must Be Profitable

1. A solid financial base is fundamental.

2. Debt should not exceed equity. A debt to equity ratio of
1 to 1 or better should be the goal, so that a company’s
leader and key executives do not spend all their time on
mere survival -paying bills, meeting the payroll, and keeping
the banks happy- but moving forward and meeting bigger
challenges and doing more visionary work.

3. There should be a regular process for annual strategic
planning and budget-planning.

The Fundamentals of Profit and Loss

1. Manage expectations, not the profits. Keep the
shareholders informed, to eliminate doubts of manipulating

2. The Chairman and CEO should be financially literate.
They should know what the numbers really mean.

3. Good growth and profitability requires the exercise of
critical judgment. The leader should make certain that the
budget is one the company can live with.

4. In repurchasing the company’s own stocks, make sure that
it will add to the company’s earnings.

5. Look into the availability of funds so that the balance
sheet will not be compromised.

Make an Edge in the Business World

1. Writing. It is a unique and powerful skill you can use for
clarity and persuasion.

2 Public Speaking and Story-telling. Speak directly, and
without notes, to your audience. Individuals respond to a
well-told story.

3. Thinking. People do not respect sloppy thinking in a
leader. Thoughts should be carefully considered then
expressed directly, crisply, and clearly.

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