Category : Books By Billionaires

Books Books By Billionaires

Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator Of Nike

Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator Of Nike Header

How does one go from a $50 investment of mom’s money to a $100 billion dollar shoe giant?

Nike is one of the iconic international brands today. If you take a look at the top athletes across the world, most likely they wear Nike’s on their feet. To know that the brand started with humble roots would inspire just about anyone to do great things. Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator Of Nike by Phil Knight is a riveting, courageous and inspiring story of how one man – entrepreneur, athlete and father – took on all odds to see his Crazy Idea come to life. 

For Phil Knight, countless failures, setbacks and obstacles are worn like badges of honour. Every obstacle overcome just leaves the competition further back in the dust. Shoe Dog is an endlessly entertaining read that had me flipping through the pages like a madman to see what would happen next. Phil’s relentless determination is contagious. Any entrepreneur with a Crazy Idea should read this memoir. 

Shoe Dog HardcoverAs a young adult, Phil spends months vagabonding across the world in different countries. These seemingly inconspicuous adventures had a profound impact on shaping Phil’s perspectives and destiny as a leader. By being around those in varying cultures, customs, status, cuisines, architecture, languages, dress, mannerisms, etc one is able to truly grasp what the human condition means. His experiences even inspires me to consider long-term travel.

On a whim, Knight schedules an interview with a Japanese running shoe manufacturer and presents himself as the representative of an American distributor interested in selling Tiger shoes to American runners. The executives like what they hear and Mr. Knight places his first shoe order soon thereafter. What really mattered in this situation, is the grandiose vision he shared.

Business is a lot like sports. Because managing cash flow and growth is extremely delicate, the company (originally called Blue Ribbon) would constantly run out of money yet manage to find a way through the situation. An important lesson is to always have a backup when funding your idea and also sourcing your product. Besides, there is too much capital available for savvy entrepreneurs with great ideas. When a bank rejected Nike on the basis of accounting, Japanese investment firm Nissho saw the vision and invested even more into his Crazy Idea.

“Like books, sports give people a sense of having lived other lives, of taking part in other people’s victories. And defeats.”

This is a Hero’s journey every step of the way. Phil leads a misfit gang of outcasts and together they build a brand that is unlike any other. People don’t just buy Nike shoes, they buy what it feels like to be an athlete. Nike is about artistry in motion. There is an element of freedom when competing – individual or team – that bonds the human spirit together. This, is the essence of Nike.

Overall, the book is a great source of what not to do in business, which is probably even more important than knowing what to do.

As the story unfolds, the importance of human relationships comes into play. This is not just the memoir of a singular person, but of the souls and persons, great adventures and struggles behind the brand. Form a team that has something to fight for and they will perform their best. Achieving success takes cooperation and a little bit of luck, but mostly never giving up and taking on failures head on. An entrepreneur’s vision supersedes all the naysayers who say they can’t do it, and their team is there to back them up.

The last important lesson Phil shares is that of time and making sure to live your life the way you want, how you want. At the end of a life lived, you will look back at your memories. Make sure they were well spent with the people you love and doing the things you really wanted to do. This is the secret to living an amazing life. Just do it.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Year: 2016
ASIN: B0176M1A44
ISBN: 1501135910
In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.Young, searching, fresh...
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
About the Book

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

Young, searching, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year, 1963. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is more than a logo. A symbol of grace and greatness, it’s one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world.

But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. Now, in a memoir that’s surprising, humble, unfiltered, funny, and beautifully crafted, he tells his story at last. It all begins with a classic crossroads moment. Twenty-four years old, backpacking through Asia and Europe and Africa, wrestling with life’s Great Questions, Knight decides the unconventional path is the only one for him. Rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, something new, dynamic, different. Knight details the many terrifying risks he encountered along the way, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors, the countless doubters and haters and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs and narrow escapes. Above all, he recalls the foundational relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers.

Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the redemptive, transformative power of sports, they created a brand, and a culture, that changed everything.

email
Look Inside

(Disclaimer: Affiliate Link)

Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator Of Nike by Phil Knight

Read More
Books Books By Billionaires

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead Header

An important book on leadership and courage, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg is a fantastic memoir of one woman’s journey as a wife, mother and rising executive. The lessons in the book are told through stories from Sheryl’s experiences working at McKinsey & Company, The U.S. Treasury, Google and Facebook among others. As the current Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg has a lot to teach about running multi-national organizations based around people. Success requires deep human intelligence and the ability to lead through inspiration.

Lean In Book Cover

Lean In places a great importance on gender roles and their significance. It is a known fact that more women graduate from college each year than men. However when compared to the amount of female executives in the workforce, there is a clear disparity. Far less women even carry the ambition to become executives in the first place. There are many reasons behind the lack of female executives (and to an extent, entrepreneurs) in our culture and these mostly stem from cultural norms. During important meetings and promotions Sandberg encourages women to sit at the table because it definitely is possible to balance family with a career.

Females usually have a different perspective from men when it comes to the workplace and oftentimes make decisions based on marriage or having a career, but not necessarily both. Many times it is the female holding herself back, while other times it is child rearing that becomes a priority.

Having a baby can be a huge challenge for women. Not every company supports maternity leave, nor are you guaranteed your reputation and position when you come back. On the bright side, managing through these experiences can maximize output. Having less time forces you to focus on what truly matters. Sandberg points out that women need to speak up at work so they can achieve a healthy balance of hours worked during critical stages of life. Pregnancy is a key time where many women make the decision to forgo their careers to raise a family, which is unfortunate because outside circumstances should make this decision easier not more difficult.

“Counterintuitively, long-term success at work often depends on not trying to meet every physical demand placed on us. The best way to make room for both life and a career is to make choices deliberately – to set limits and stick to them.” – Sheryl Sandberg

For one, it is not deemed sexy to be a female with power by society. Even other female peers may view her as bossy or authoritative. This runs counterintuitive to standards of female beauty today which is often portrayed as being generous and personable. For females there is a fine line between being a leader and a queen bee. In this regard, it makes more sense and requires less stress to be a caretaker instead. It is never really possible to accomplish everything you set out to do and there can be a sense of overwhelm from trying. That’s why setting attainable, sustainable goals is key to happiness.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead discusses mentorship in-depth and gives solid advice on how to approach an influencer (hint: it is always a reciprocal relationship). With more men mentoring and sponsoring women we could witness a revolution in female executives. When it comes to asking for feedback and also giving feedback to others, the benefit of being critically honest and direct is that problems get solved faster. Being brutally honest, both in your personality and in your actions can reap great rewards.

On a side note check out the Lean In Community and visit the Lean In Foundation.

Although as a male I do not possess many of the challenges Sheryl addresses, Lean In definitely gave me a clearer understanding of the psychological factors holding women back from succeeding in the workplace. Sometimes I do wish the book went more in-depth on operations strategies used at Google and Facebook as I’m sure there’s a lot to learn from operating gigantic Internet corporations. Nevertheless, gender issues are a large contributing factor to the leadership gap and should not be understated.

As the child of a single mother growing up who at one point took on two work shifts and even spent months away from home for work – multiple times, I can definitely relate to the issues Sheryl addresses in Lean In. There really are a myriad of factors a woman has to consider when it comes between having a family or extending her professional career. One thing remains certain as clearly stated by Sheryl Sandberg, “As more women lean in to their careers, more men need to lean in to their families.”

The Solution: Elect more qualified females for leadership positions and encourage both men and women to Lean In.

P.S. View Sheryl Sandberg’s TED Talk on ‘Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders’ here.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Year: 2013
ASIN: B009LMTDL0
ISBN: 0385349947
Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl ...
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon
About the Book

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.”  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.

Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.

email
Look Inside

(Disclaimer: Affiliate Link)

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Read More
Books Books By Billionaires

Sam Walton: Made In America

Sam Walton Made In America Header

The story of Sam Walton’s life is not just a story of a successful businessman, but rather an autobiography of the true American success story who started out in humble beginnings in the Midwest and compounded into the largest retail chain in the world. The book takes you through the story of how Sam took one retail shop and out competed all of his neighbors time and time again. From raising a family to recruiting his team, Sam Walton’s formula for creating a multi-billion dollar company is a true classic.

Sam Walton: Made In America simulates first-hand how the largest retailing empire ever was built long before Amazon ever existed. In scaling a business, especially a physical retail brand such as Wal-Mart there are many challenges that can come up. Sam succeeded in an era where technology was not prevalent by optimizing pricing, product promotions, retail locations, distribution systems and most importantly customer service. Sam overcame obstacle after objection and eventually thrived during a time when competing retailers were just struggling to survive.

Not only is Sam Walton’s story filled with wisdom, actionable knowledge and perception but the true gem inside the book is one for the ages.

Sam Walton: Made In America Cover

You will learn the essential fundamentals firsthand from the very man himself. Sam explains it all from his eyes and experiences. An American legend, this book brings the reader back to the grassroots of industrialization and culminates in the building of the largest retailing brand in existence (at the time).

Sam Walton’s Top 10 Rules For Success

  1. Commit
  2. Share
  3. Motivate
  4. Communicate
  5. Appreciate
  6. Celebrate
  7. Listen
  8. Exceed
  9. Control
  10. Swim

If you want to learn what these rules mean more in-depth, then I suggest you take the time to read the book. After all, it is only $7. The hard part, as so eloquently stated by Sam Walton is that the real challenge, is to constantly figure out ways to execute the rules and plans you have set for yourself. You can’t just keep doing what works one time, because everything around you is always changing. The world will always keep changing. To succeed, you have to stay out in front of that change, which means adaptability is key in a world of ever-changing circumstances.

“The secret lies in motivating kids who aren’t getting educated today to want to put themselves through school, and to make them understand the rewards they can expect when they do.” – Sam Walton

Sam Walton: Made In America

Sam Walton: Made In America

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Year: 1993
ASIN: B008ZPG704
ISBN: 0553562835
Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America's heartland: Sam Walton, who parlayed a single dime store in a hardscrabble cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world.  The undisputed merchant king of the late twentieth century, Sam never lost the common ...
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
About the Book

Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America’s heartland: Sam Walton, who parlayed a single dime store in a hardscrabble cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world.  The undisputed merchant king of the late twentieth century, Sam never lost the common touch.  Here, finally, inimitable words.  Genuinely modest, but always sure if his ambitions and achievements.  Sam shares his thinking in a candid, straight-from-the-shoulder style.

In a story rich with anecdotes and the “rules of the road” of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream.

email
Look Inside

(Disclaimer: Affiliate Link)

Sam Walton: Made In America

Read More