Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Success Books - Sandy Weill "The Real Deal" Part 2

I am still reading Sandy Weill’s autobiography The Real Deal: My Life in Business and Philanthropyand it makes for an extraordinary textbooks on critical success factors. I mentioned some in Part 1. Here are a few more:

Workaholic mentality
When refurbishing a recent takeover, Commercial credit, Sandy and his team would fly from New York to Baltimore Monday mornings (or sometimes Sundays) at 6:30 am, work in Baltimore till Friday, work in new York all day Friday, and work most days Saturdays out of his house in Greenwich Connecticut. In any endeavor I have been a part of, there was no such thing as “life balance”. If you want to succeed, plan on 12+ - hour days and 6-day+ weeks.

Buy Value
Sandy found opportunities during panics, at “fire sale” prices, and/or looked to pay a relatively low price for the businesses he bought.

Strong Balance Sheet
Over and over again, the passion to keep costs down, while driving efficient business processes, resulted in a strong balance sheet which nets out to creditworthiness for future acquisitions. This is as true in our personal lives as in business. While no one can predict the future, the more solid your finances, overall, the safer you will be in life, and the more flexibility you will have.

“Don’t cut off your nose…revisited”
I mentioned this characteristic earlier in Part 1 but I noticed it again when Sandy recounts his purchases of Primerica from financier Gerald Tsai. Tsai had awarded $100 million dollars of “golden parachutes” to himself and his staff, which irked Weill, but to make a 1.5 billion dollar deal, Weill subdued his emotions, and allowed the deal to progress.

This book continues to impress me as a masterful presentation of lessons for success in any field.

Go to Part 1

Go to Part 3

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