Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Turnaround Kid - Steve Miller

The Wall Street Journal has dubbed Steve Miller to be "U.S. Industry's Mr. Fix It." This book is his own story about how he salvaged a variety of U.S. companies that lost their way. He explains how he started his career with automotive giant Ford and how that led to his position as a key member of Lee Iaccoca's team that rescued Chrysler. From there, he built a reputation for fixing corporations facing major problems in industries as varied as steel, construction, and health care. Chairman and CEO of the bankrupt automotive parts manufacturer Delphi Corporation is his most recent position covered in this book. Since then, he joined the board of bailed-out insurer AIG, in 2009, and just last week, Hawker Beechcraft Inc., the jet maker partly owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. named him their CEO as they seek to rework terms of a revolving credit line and address problems resulting from reduced demand in the business aircraft market.

In Miller's telling of his own story, he is outspoken and doesn't shy away from topics such as his differences with Iaccoca.  He does admit that he isn't perfect and points out some of his self-proclaimed biggest mistakes.  He includes a view of his personal life, including stories about his father, the rewards and challenges of his marriage, and the tragic loss of his wife, Maggie, to brain cancer.  Nonetheless, the viewpoint is his alone and the story and experiences are told within the framework of his beliefs.  If you are a student of business, I believe that there is plenty to learn from this book.  It is not, however, a recipe or list of business formulas for the pursuit of business success.  Instead, it is a glimpse into world of a successful corporate executive, some of the personal and business challenges that he faced, and his philosophy of business and life.

No comments:

Post a Comment