Review of The Outsiders by William Thorndike
Published: 2012
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A examination of the traits that set successful CEOs apart from their peers

The Outsiders by William Thorndike is a truly remarkable book that offers an in-depth look at the lives and leadership styles of eight of the most successful CEOs in modern history. These leaders, including Jack Welch of General Electric, Henry Singleton of Teledyne, and Tom Murphy of Capital Cities Communications, all outperformed their peers in the stock market and left a lasting impact on the business world.
One of the things that sets this book apart is the level of detail and research that went into it. Thorndike has done a thorough job of analyzing the careers of these leaders and uncovering the specific strategies and decision-making processes that set them apart. He also provides a wealth of personal anecdotes and insights into their personalities and leadership styles, making the book an engaging and highly readable account of their lives and work.

The book also provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities that these leaders faced throughout their careers. From navigating the complexities of large, diversified organizations to making difficult decisions such as layoffs and divestitures, the leaders profiled in this book had to navigate a wide range of obstacles. However, despite these challenges, they were able to achieve great success by staying true to their values and focusing on the long-term success of their companies.
One of the most striking things about the book is the diversity of the leaders profiled in it. Each one had a unique approach to management and leadership, and Thorndike does an excellent job of highlighting the specific tactics that made each of them successful. For example, Jack Welch is known for his focus on cutting costs and streamlining operations, while Tom Murphy built a media empire by making strategic acquisitions. This diversity of perspectives and approaches makes the book a great resource for business leaders, managers, and anyone interested in understanding the key principles of successful leadership.
Overall, The Outsiders by William Thorndike is an incredibly informative and well-written book that offers a wealth of practical insights into the strategies and decision-making processes of some of the most successful CEOs in history. It is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the key principles of successful leadership and how to apply them in their own careers. The book is a valuable resource that will be beneficial to managers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs alike. It can also serve as a great case study for students of business and management.

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