Mind Your Own Business: A Maverick's Guide to Business, Leadership and Life by Sidney Harman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mind Your Own Business
What follows from Sydney Harmon, CHief executive officer of Harmon Kadmon hi if speakers is part auto-biography , part how to run your business. Harmon Kadmon Speakers are used on almost every computer. THey make great hi-if speakers and the company was a pioneering company in making speaker. To start with there are two business models that represent two extremes in the business world. THe old model is top down administration where everything is rigid and creativity is lacking. Things get stuffy. The new model is technology based , very creative. In fact to creative that honesty is forsaken. Profit is the main thing even if the numbers have to be played with. Totally web based. Neither one is a perfect model and each have their flaws which is why Dr. Harmon is advising a third way that combines elements of these two business models.
Dr. Harmon tells how he made money with his paper route and expanded it. He talks about candy shops and how they do business. He talks about how he worked with David Bogen for ten years and he discusses what he learned. During Word War Two he worked in the communications department. After that he would acquire a company with Kadmon. Together they revolutionized the speaker industry by making things sound better and by making the products easier to use. Remember technolgy is subservient to those who need to use it not the other way around. Later he would leave and join the Presidents cabinet as a technolgy minister and when he was done with that he would re acquire the company . He also taught at Friends World College and was involved in the Civl Rights movement when desegragation was being challenged by state . He felt threatened by the racists on several occasasins.
He was 84 when he wrote the short book that has acquired much acclaim.
His belief is that everyone who works for the company is like a jazz quartet , you have to make the music harmonious by listening too everyone. The executive need to know what is going on and see the whole picture. That means they go put on the production floor and do some work there and speak to the people. THe executive is to set an examp-le in integrity and honesty and the rest will follow suit. He believes in building up a quality of life for the employees by providing health care and education. He is against cooking the books t make companies look profitable. If the language is too strange ask the speaker to make it simpler. Writing helps you read your own mind and speeches should be done without liking at the notes.
A refreshing honest approach to business and I am not into business. Honesty is the best policy and this man seems to be a living avatar of that ideal .
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