Guts: 8 Laws Of Business From One Of The Most Innovative Business Leaders Of Our Time By Robert A. Lutz
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(7 customer reviews)
"Read it for no other reason than to learn Bob's Seven Immutable Laws of Business. . . . This is vintage Bob-contrarian, thoughtful, and he's really fun to read."
In this edition of Bob Lutz's bestselling account of the business philosophy with which he revolutionized Chrysler and much of the automotive industry, Lutz reveals his unique brand of creative management. Readers will learn many lessons herein, including why the key to success in any business is maintaining a positive tension between the creative minds and the buttoned-up financial minds, and how to attract, motivate, and strategically deploy each type throughout an organization. This book features a new introduction and an epilogue in which Lutz introduces an eighth law that helps today's business leaders put his famed Seven Immutable Laws of Business into sharper perspective.
Robert A. Lutz (Scarsdale, NY) is General Motor's Vice Chairman of Product Development and Chairman of GM North America.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #716127 in Books
- Published on: 2003-09-26
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 9.41" h x .91" w x 6.38" l, 1.21 pounds
- Binding: Hardcover
- 256 pages
"Read it for no other reason than to learn Bob's Seven Immutable Laws of Business.... This is vintage Bob--contrarian, thoughtful, and he's really fun to read."
From the Inside Flap
What do you do with a book that's filled with controversial, counterintuitive, and downright contrarian statements that stand conventional wisdom on its ear and claim, lightheartedly, to be immutable "laws of business?" If the author is Robert Lutz, you read the book very carefully, probably several times, learn all of the "laws" by heart, and follow them to the letter every chance you get. You also find yourself laughing out loud, shaking your head in wonder, and nodding in agreement.
Revised and updated, this is a maverick's primer on the business philosophy that revolutionized Chrysler and is now powering dramatic new product development at General Motors. In it, Lutz reexamines his iconoclastic maxims to see how they have withstood the test of time. With hard evidence, hilarious anecdotes, and his characteristic frankness, the high-flying chairman of GM North America challenges his own contention that businesses should deliberately construct a "schizophrenic" corporate culture that combines rock-solid financial controls with a highly creative, no-holds-barred product development process.
Concluding that his laws have served him well and are generally reliable in any business situation and any industry, he goes on to explain why:
- The customer isn't always right
- The primary purpose of business isn't "to make money"
- When everybody else is doing it, don't
- Too much quality can ruin you
- Financial controls are bad
- Disruptive people are an asset
- Teamwork isn't always good
If Lutz's first seven laws aren't provocative enough for you, wait until you read the new one that he formulated for executives charged with managing mergers and takeovers or rehabilitating failing companies. Suffice it to say, it involves the use of a flamethrower.
Enriched by Lutz's deep store of business wisdom acquired over three-plus decades in the automobile industry, Guts combines a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at some of the most important events in the industry's history, with an outside-the-box view on the nature of leadership and success. This insightful, unorthodox, and thoroughly enjoyable discourse will change the way you think about product development and marketing, financial management, strategy, and managing people. It will redefine the way you think about success–and make you all the more eager and likely to achieve it.
From the Back Cover
Praise for GUTS, Revised and Updated
"Bob Lutz is the only man in history to rise to the top at all three Detroit automakers–Ford, GM, and Chrysler–and Guts reveals the kind of thinking that got him there. From a guy who didn't graduate from high school until he was twenty-two comes as good a business book as you will ever find, and one that applies in any industry. Go Bob, go."
–Jerry Flint, Forbes columnist, and 2003 winner of a Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism
"Bob has always been a charismatic leader, but he became a true businessman when he joined Chrysler. Guts is typical Lutz–it's controversial, thought-provoking and, in the final analysis, it makes good business sense."
–Harold "Red" Poling, retired CEO, Ford Motor Company
"Bob has the rare ability to communicate with everyone on the automotive ladder–from the engineer to the guy on the assembly line to the designer . . . even the idiotic Hollywood celebrity who just likes to go fast! And whether you're in the business of building washing machines or just writing jokes, Lutz's laws work."
–Jay Leno, Hollywood celebrity and host of The Tonight Show
"In a world in which managerial creativity and discipline have become polar opposites, Guts presents a dynamic synthesis of both forces that will enable readers to challenge the status quo and make their organizations far more competitive."
–Stephen Girsky, Managing Director/Senior Global Automotive Analyst, MorganStanley
"Guts is about business, leadership, and life, and reaches well beyond the boundaries of the auto industry. Lutz's laws of business, updated for today's leaders, are key ingredients to a twenty-first-century road map for success. And it's also a great read, delivered with the passion, integrity, and strength of character so important to making good things happen in a turbulent world."
–David Cole, Chairman, Center for Automotive Research
"I've known Bob Lutz for over thirty-five years, and Guts reflects all the qualities that have made him one of the great car guys of our generation. As always, he tells it like it is, and that's what makes his book such a compelling read."
–Lee Iacocca, Lee Iacocca & Associates
Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Callin' It Like He Sees It
By Matthew Dodd
This book is a refreshing collection of straightforward thoughts and observations about business and leadership from one of the most seasoned, creative, colorful, and highly successful executives of our time-Robert A. Lutz, Chairman of General Motors North America. This revised and updated book contains the blunt, honest wisdom of an authentic maverick leader in the form of his laws of business that have stood the test of time over his thirty years in the car industry, and his rise to the top of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler.
Organized into three parts, the book opens with the story of Chrysler's second turnaround in the early 1990s. Lutz was part of the executive team that conceived and brought to life one of the most famous and successful muscle cars of all-time: the Viper. Part Two is an in-depth review and validation of Lutz's eight immutable laws of business. The final part is Lutz's corollaries to his laws, or, as he calls them, "The Rest of the Story!"
A former Marine with an ongoing, life-long love affair with the Marine Corps and its leadership practices, Lutz presented many business and leadership concepts and personal anecdotes that reflected and blended his business and Marine Corps backgrounds. From his beliefs about the need for attention to detail and critical performance evaluations, to his emphasis on holistic, empowered, cross-functional teams and the value of a culture that nurtures middle-management dissent of conventional wisdom in open forums, Lutz's insights and experiences were both entertaining and informative.
If the following lists of Lutz's business laws and corollaries even sound remotely appealing to you, read this book - you will not be disappointed.
Lutz's Immutable Laws of Business:
LAW #1: The Customer Isn't Always Right
LAW #2: The Primary Purpose of Business Is Not to Make Money
LAW #3: When Everybody Else Is Doing It, Don't!
LAW #4: Too Much Quality Can Ruin You
LAW #5: Financial Controls Are Bad!
LAW #6: Disruptive People Are an Asset
LAW #7: Teamwork Isn't Always Good
LAW #8: When You Inherit a Really Big Rat's Nest, Don't Try to Lure Them Out With Food. Use a Flamethrower
*It's Okay to Be Anal Sometimes
*A Little Fear, in Reality, Ain't All That Bad
*Leadership Is All About Common Sense, Which, Unfortunately, Is Not All That Common
*Some Squeaky Wheels Don't Get the Grease, or Pros and Cons of Being a Change Agent
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
Clear Cut And To The Point Business Advice
By J. C. Payne
This book presents the 8-plus rules on how to run a successful business (and life) from a former GM Vice Chairman of Product Development. Robert Lutz presents a highly autobiographical, hypercritical, look at his career and how these laws he developed for himself can apply to anyone.
While the information may be a little dated, (the book was originally published in 1998, republished in 2003) the principles are universal and apply well to anyone looking for a little coaching in business. It is a lot easier to get into the book if you are a fan of cars, and to a lesser extent, military history. Lutz peppers a lot of his life experiences to get the point across, admitting freely that he wasn't always (and sometimes still isn't) the best example for focus, discipline, or innovative thinking. His own experiences with failing in school, joining the US Marine Corps, and dealing with car companies in Europe and the US helped to shape his 8 rules and 4 corollaries.
The most interesting part is a very candid and detailed breakdown of the creative process that gave birth to the Dodge Viper, and the admission that it wasn't exactly a car that was begging to be made, but by making it, it changed the culture of a car company and like any fine work of art, found its proper audience.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Great Insider View of Chrysler
By Doug Aurand
Guts by Bob Lutz is a great insiders view of how Chrysler developed their innovative Platform Teams and the thinking that went into that process. The 8 Laws are funny with real world examples, and enlightening
Definitely a "must read" for people who want to learn more about "out of the box" thinking
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