Saturday, May 23, 2009

Life Under the Corporate Microscope.

"The best time to plant a tree was always 20 years ago. The second best time is always today."

Chinese Proverb

This is true of our life. Nothing is accomplished by regretting what was not done in the past (unless that spurs action today). The best thing to do is to take action today. As I have often said "Do It Now!". It is never too late to become the people we wished we had become.

One of the latest books I read is "Life Under the Corporate Microscope" by Larry Underwood.

Larry was with Enterprise Rent a Car for 20+ years. He started at the bottom and worked his way up to managing huge region for them. He lead the company through huge growth. This is truly a rags to riches story. He blatantly talks about the millions of dollars that he made in the latter part of his career.

Larry, by his own admission, is irreverent. The book is written in story fashion (like my brother Lyle Estill's books - Small is Possible and Biodiesel Power). So the book is definitely not a scientific or researched book. It is an off the top story of his life in the rental car business.

He comes across a lot like a used car salesman. Lots of profanity. High focus on partying and making money.

His story includes a lot of characters. He obviously is a people person. I am sure this is part of how he was a success. He also prides himself on being funny and uses that as a way to ingratiate people to him.

Larry is obviously highly successful. I sense that he loved by many but not by others. I was disappointed that he did not get into more of the business details on how he was able to achieve such growth and profitability.

As I read how he felt that head office oppressed him and his staff, I could not help but think that I need to be very careful since I am "head office" to add value to the branches and people in the field.

It was a fun read. Entertaining. And a break from most of the other business books I read.

2 Comments:

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Hi Jim,

Not directly related to you post, but reading in general - Have you ever tried GetAbstract? Seems like a possible way to be more time efficient with reading - either by reading only the abstract or by first reading the abstract to determine if reading the full book is of value.

-Kevin.

 
At 6:42 PM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

I have used GetAbstract but personally prefer to read the whole book. In some cases, I read both. That said, I do think GetAbstract is great for many people.

 

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