Maverick written by Ricardo Semler in Brazil published in 1993. A transformational business book from start to finish. Completely counter what you’d come to expect from a Brazilian industrial tycoon. I think Mr. Semler is one of the most thought-provoking, honest, most humble leaders I’ve ever come across.
Semco, a heavy duty industrial manufacturer has no rules to live by. You pick your own hours, pick your own pay, pick your own vacation times, heck you even vote on your own managers regularly! Twice a year you fill out a 30 question questionnaire about your management and division you work in.
No one has a long term contact. No one is employed longer than 6 months. Everyone’s salary is openly known by anyone who cares to know.
Semco is the most democratic company I’ve ever read about, and they did it in a 1980’s Brazilian economy. Not the beacon of sought after economies you once thought, on the contrary, Brazil was avoid by many businesses because of the government, high inflation rates, and a fast growing unpredictable future. It’s astounding what Ricardo and Semco accomplished during this period in Brazil.
How did they get it so right?
Ricardo lucked out in a sense, his father build a multi-million dollar company. He became of age and realized it would never last in its current state. Plus the fact that second generation wealth is squandered 70% of the time, Ricardo had to make a gamble.
He was courageous in his decisions but the theme throughout his career and the book was that he cared (and still cares) dearly about people. It’s so refreshing to see in someone like him in a leadership role, putting people before profits.
Telling, forcing, commanding, never works. Inspiring, helping, listening, always does. Read more
If you were Seth Godin you would say it needs to be remarkable! You know, your “Purple Cow” idea that will spread like wildfire.
If you were Jim Collins’ you’d start with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). Cities like Las Vegas, Austin, Amsterdam, Paris, even Victoria, all have a created visionary cities by doing something big, hairy and audacious. (they’re all REALLY good at something, or have something they are known for).
If you were Hugh MacLeod you would come up with a social object. Something people would have to talk about, have to share with their friends, it’d probably be really cool. Read more
One of my favorite projects of my professional career so far has to be working with the Regina Police Service. I was hired to help with their marketing, in the months leading up to the project the Regina Police were really making a name for themselves and it was time to capitalize on their newly found online fame. Read more
1. A clear vision of who you are and where you’re going (Westjet)
I don’t care if you’re Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2, if you don’t have a clear vision of who you are and where you are going, you have have no hope in hell of getting anywhere. If you are successful it’s purely out of luck. I love the quote from Alice in Wonderland:
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