Retained Learnings from the books we read.
Reason for Recommendation:
William Thorndike details the extraordinary successes of eight individualistic CEO’s whose firms’ average returns outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of twenty. In other words, an investment of $10,000 with each of these CEOs, on average, would have been worth over $1.5 million twenty-five years later. Thorndike’s exploration of the importance of thoughtful capital allocation will highly benefit business leaders, especially those who are willing to chart their own unique course.
About the Author:
William N. Thorndike, Jr. is founder and a managing director of Housatonic Partners, a private equity firm. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business and has been a guest lecturer at the Harvard and Stanford business schools. He is a director of eight companies and two not-for-profit organizations.
In this refreshing, counterintuitive book, author William Thorndike brings to bear the analytical wisdom of a successful career in investing, closely evaluating the performance of companies and their leaders. The book details the traits and methods- striking for their consistency and relentless rationality- that helped eight unique leaders achieve such exceptional performance.
Humble, unassuming, and often frugal, these “outsiders” shunned Wall Street and the press, and shied away from the hottest new management trends. Instead, they shared specific traits that put them and the companies they led on winning trajectories: a laser-sharp focus on per share value as opposed to earnings or sales growth; an exceptional talent for allocating capital and human resources; and the belief that cash flow, not reported earnings, determines a company’s long-term value.
Drawing on years of research and experience, Thorndike tells eye-opening stories, extracting lessons and revealing a compelling alternative model for anyone interested in leading a company or investing in one—and reaping extraordinary returns.