The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational

by William N Thorndike


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About the book

It is impossible to produce superior performance unless you do something different.

John Templeton

 

What characteristics distinguish a successful CEO? Most people think of a seasoned manager with extensive industry knowledge when they think of the term. Others would refer to the charisma, virtuoso communication skills, and assured managerial style of today's so-called celebrity CEOs. But what actually matters when you're in charge of a company? What distinguishes great CEO performance? Simply said, it is the long-term returns on investment for the company's stockholders.

 

Author Will Thorndike brings the analytical insight of a successful career in investing to bear in this refreshing, counterintuitive audiobook, closely assessing the performance of organizations and their CEOs. You'll meet eight egotistical CEOs whose companies surpassed the S&P 500 by a factor of twenty; in other words, a $10,000 investment with each of these CEOs would have grown to over $1.5 million twenty-five years later. General Cinema, Ralston Purina, The Washington Post Company, Berkshire Hathaway, General Dynamics, Capital Cities Broadcasting, TCI, and Teledyne are just a few of the companies you'll remember.

 

In The Outsiders, you'll discover the characteristics and procedures that helped these outstanding leaders accomplish such exceptional results, traits and methods that stand out for their constancy and relentless reason. These "outsiders," who were humble, quiet, and frequently frugal, avoided Wall Street and the press, as well as the newest managerial fads. Instead, they shared certain characteristics that put them and the companies they led on winning paths: a laser-sharp focus on per share value rather than earnings or sales growth; exceptional talent for allocating capital and human resources; and the belief that a company's long-term value is determined by cash flow, not reported earnings.

 

Thorndike shares eye-opening anecdotes, extracting lessons and unveiling a compelling alternative model for anyone interested in leading a company or investing in one and reaping amazing results, based on years of research and experience.


About the Author

Will founded Housatonic Partners in Boston in 1994 and has been Managing Director since that time. Prior to founding Housatonic, Will worked with T. Rowe Price Associates and Walker & Company where he was named to the Board of Directors. Will has over two decades of experience investing in recurring service companies across a wide variety of industries.

 

Will is a Director of Carillon Assisted Living, Lincoln Peak Holdings, QMC International, and ZircoDATA. Outside of Housatonic, he is a Director of WGBH, the College of the Atlantic (Chair), as well as a founding partner at FARM, a social impact investing collaborative. He is the author of The Outsiders.


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