Written By: Chad Toms, VP of National Sales, Sales
#3 is American Turnaround by Ed Whitacre. I have read this book twice now. Ed Whitacre could be one of the most down to earth executives to ever walk the earth. He is from South Texas and his father worked for the railroad. He came from the small town of Ennis, Texas where after graduation he decided to follow a different path than his father. He started as an intern at AT&T, in college, and worked his way all the way to CEO.
During his career, he made so many great decisions. His biggest and best was personally signing a 5 year exclusive agreement to be the carrier for the iPhone. He had numerous meetings with Steve Jobs and he helped bring the most iconic piece of plastic to life. The stories on his interactions with Steve Jobs are amazing. That device now impacts most of the planet!
He speaks openly and candid about his time within GM. He felt that is was his patriotic duty to guide them through bankruptcy. He changed so many things there in his short time; the biggest was the reporting structure. He made tough personnel decisions and identified future leaders who are still at the top of the company today. I love how he would walk the halls and speak to all of the employees. He would often eat lunch in the food court as opposed to the executive lunch room. He felt that he was a regular guy and he loved the time that he spent with GM’s employees. If you work for GM, ever supported GM, or ever had a family member that works there, it is a must read. He is a brilliant man!
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