As we near the end of the Libro 52 Challenge, this book scored the highest among the 2013 offering: 9.50
Buy this book with your gift cards….
No – this isn’t the John Grisham thriller that was made into a movie with Gene Hackman and the pre-couch-jumping Tom Cruise.
This is a page-turner too, but this is better.
The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business is a full-blown history of McKinsey & Co., the premier business consultant on Earth – and maybe “the most influential private organization in America,” according to McDonald.
That’s tough to argue with as McKinsey advises nearly 70% of the Fortune 1000.
Reading about the development of the McKinsey culture was fascinating – starting with the vision to solely work with Executives at the highest level within Client companies. Business gurus helping CEO’s maintain their jobs and reputations…
In fact, McKinsey has produced more CEO’s than any other company in history. But for all its success, McKinsey has some fantastic flameouts.
Jeffrey Skilling, former CEO of Enron, was a McKinsey genius. The Firm was paid millions annually as a permanent fixture inside Enron, yet they slipped out the backdoor unscathed as Arthur Anderson was decimated when the Enron house of cards came tumbling down.
McKinsey & Co. was hired by Dwight Eisenhower to help him reorganize the White House.
And yet… McKinsey’s former #1, Rajat Gupta, was nailed for insider trading as he was passing along Goldman Sachs secrets during the economic train wreck of 2008.
The most resonant story characterizes the familiar knock against consultants: If you can’t do, then consult.
An early McKinsey Client, Marshall Field & Co., thought so much of founder James O. McKinsey’s advice (including the prescription for massive layoffs) they asked him to formally head the company and implement them.
James O. McKinsey left his namesake firm.
He would not only advise, he would do.
It did not go well.
McKinsey himself acknowledged the considerable chasm between advising others on what they should do… and actually doing it himself.
Bottom Line: Fantastic read. If you want to learn how to develop the Perception of Value, this is as good a place to start as any. McDonald succeeds in making the history of McKinsey read like a Grisham thriller. Buy this now.
Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com). His Libro 52 writing has fallen off recently, not his reading. He’ll share his thoughts on his final books in the next 3 days….
43. The Firm by Duff McDonald
Categories: Libro 52 Challenge