This book really strikes a chord with anyone struggling to spread their vision beyond the boardroom. The most difficult parts of reading this book are (a) not reading the whole thing in a sitting and (b) not reading passages out loud to your colleagues. ACE Greenberg, CEO of Bear Stearns and Wall Street veteran, used a sustained programme of humourous memos to promulgate his vision to all his employees. This book brings many of them together in a single volume. Through humour, ACE Greenberg reinforces core business values like: "manage expenses, recruit talent, manage expenses, respond immediately to all telephone calls, manage expenses." The memos are arranged chronologically allowing you to chart Bear Stearns response to its changing fortunes. Each quarter you see a patriarch gather his children, congratulate them on their successes and help them to bury the past, whilst hiching them up and reminding them that it's a new quarter and the score starts at nil - nil again. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. You'll buy one copy for yourself, followed by a job lot as Christmas presents. JH
Memos from the chairman is a nice example of influencing the morale of the troops (i.e. workforce) and staying focused on basic rules of a company. The humorous and direct communication Alan C. Greenberg uses can easily be criticized, but leaves little room for speculations. Something only few true leaders understand to use as an asset for their business. Even for not native Americans the clues that are included in the memos can be very useful.
A truly inspirational insight into the creation of the corporate culture of Bear Sterns, one of the most successful US investment banks. Put simply, the book is a collection of memos passed around the office, written by the ubiquitous Ace Greenberg. His fascination with saving on paper clips and lighting expenses should be a lesson to us all. At the time I read the book, I was so impressed with the content that I wrote to Mr Greenberg personally, and asked him for a job - need I say any more!!
I have never read a better book on establishing an attitude that permeates throughout the business. Greenberg's common-sense approach to business and attention to detail are shown not in a preachy, "one size fixes all" prescription, but through examples of his leadership. Highly recommended.