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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business

Book Description

Powerful stories from the world’s top CEOs to help prepare you for the hard decisions ahead.

The essays in How I Did It teach and inspire. Pulled directly from the pages of one of the most popular columns in Harvard Business Review, these essays offer firsthand accounts of the most difficult management challenges faced by the men and women who occupy the corner office. It’s the next best thing to sitting down and talking face-to-face with these corporate leaders. You’ll hear from renowned global leaders including:

• Kevin Ryan, Gilt Groupe
• Mindy Grossman, HSN
• Kevin Plank, Under Armour
• Daniel P. Amos, Aflac
• Pramod Bhasin, Genpact
• Eric Schmidt, Google
• Ellen Kullman, DuPont
• Patrizio Bertelli, Prada
• Pierre Omidyar, Omidyar Network
• Jorge Cauz, Encyclopaedia Brittanica
• Richard Gelfond, IMAX

Let these potent stories of strategic thinking—and often bold and unconventional action—be your guide as you step into your own future as a leader.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. Picking the Right People
    1. Building a Team of A Players
    2. Giving Up the CEO Seat
    3. Why Succession Shouldn’t Be a Horse Race
    4. Choosing the First Nonfamily CEO
    5. How I Avoided Layoffs
  7. Building the Right Culture
    1. Going to Extremes for Customers
    2. Fixing the Shopping Network’s Culture
    3. Getting Serious About Safety
    4. Persuading His Team to Leap into the Future
    5. Jump-Starting a Sluggish Company
    6. How “Mystery Shopping” Helped Spark a Turnaround
  8. Telling the Right Story
    1. Learning to Leverage Celebrity Endorsements
    2. How I Fell for the Duck
    3. Standing Up to 65,000 Angry Activists
    4. Learning from a Recall
    5. Learning to Work with Green Activists
  9. Growing Around the World
    1. Turning an Aging British Icon into a Global Luxury Brand
    2. Building a Company Without Borders
    3. Turning a Failed Sale into a Huge Opportunity
    4. Building an Industry in India from Scratch
    5. Powering Growth in Emerging Markets
    6. Reinventing the Business to Succeed in China
    7. Building a Business on the World’s Poorest Continent
  10. Doing Smart Deals
    1. The Enduring Lessons of a Quirky IPO
    2. Pulling Off a Sweet Deal in a Down Market
    3. Executing a Complex Cross-Border Acquisition
    4. How Integrating an Acquisition Transformed Business
  11. Finding a Strategy That Works
    1. Sparking an American Manufacturing Renewal
    2. Staying Independent in a Consolidating Industry
    3. Sparring with an Activist Shareholder
    4. Innovating the Business Model of Social Change
    5. Growing After a Patent Cliff
    6. Killing Off a 244-Year-Old Product
    7. How IMAX Became a Hollywood Powerhouse
  12. About the Editors