A Stake in the Outcome: Building a Culture of Ownership for the Long-Term Success of Your Business

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The First Management Classic of the New Millennium!
A bold experiment is taking place these days, as leading-edge companies turn upside down the management paradigm that has dominated corporate thinking for more than one hundred years. Southwest Airlines is perhaps the most visible practitioner, soaring through economic downturns while its competitors slash their budgets and order massive layoffs, but you can find other pioneers of the new approach in almost every industry and market niche. Their secret: a culture of ownership that allows them to tap into the most underutilized resource in business today–namely, the enthusiasm, intelligence, and creativity of working people everywhere.

No one knows more about building a culture of ownership than CEO Jack Stack, who’s been working on one for the past twenty years with his colleagues at SRC Holdings Corporation (formerly Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation). Along the way, they’ve turned their company into what Business Week has called a “management Mecca,” attracting thousands of people representing hundreds of businesses to SRC’s home in Springfield, Missouri. There the visitors learn how to incorporate the ideals and values of SRC’s remarkable corporate culture into their own organizations–and then they go back and do it.

Now, in A Stake in the Outcome, Stack offers a master class on creating a culture of ownership, presenting the hard-won lessons of his own twenty-year journey and explaining what it really takes to build for long-term success. The pioneer of “open-book management” (described in the best-selling classic The Great Game of Business), Stack and twelve other managers began their journey in 1982, when they purchased their factory from its struggling parent company. SRC grew 15 percent a year, while adding almost a thousand new jobs, and the company’s stock price rocketed from 10 cents to $81.60 per share. In the process, Stack discovered that long-term success required constant innovation–and that building a culture of ownership involved much more than paying bonuses, handing out stock options, or setting up an employee stock ownership plan. In a successful ownership culture, every employee had to take the fate of the company as personally as an individual owner would. Achieving that level of commitment was extraordinarily difficult, but Stack realized that the payoff would be enormous: a company that was consistently able to outperform the market.

A Stake in the Outcome isn’t about theory–it’s about practice. Stack draws from his own successes and failures at SRC to show how any company can teach its employees to think and act like owners, including how to implement an effective equity-sharing program, how to promote continuous learning at every level of the organization, how to fire up employees’ competitive juices, how to broaden the concept of leadership and delegate responsibility for the business, and how to build a workforce that is fast on its feet and ready to take advantage of every opportunity. You’ll also learn about other companies that have succeeded in building cultures of ownership–and the lessons they can teach the rest of us.

Written in Jack Stack’s straightforward, witty, no-beating-around-the-bush style, A Stake in the Outcome is like having a one-on-one session with a master entrepreneur and business innovator. It shows managers and executives of companies both large and small how to build a ferociously motivated workforce that is energized and committed to meeting and overcoming the most daunting challenges a company can face.


From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

JACK STACK is President and CEO of SRC Holding Corporation, an employee-owned company that supplies remanufactured engines to the transportation industries. He lives in Springfield, Missouri. BO BURLINGHAM is an editor-at-large of Inc. magazine and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are the authors of the bestseller The Great Game of Business.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown Business
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Published on
Apr 30, 2002
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780385505109
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Human Resources & Personnel Management
Business & Economics / Management
Business & Economics / Workplace Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the early 1980s, Springfield Remanufacturing  Corporation (SRC) in Springfield, Missouri, was a  near bankrupt division of International Harvester.  That's when a green young manager, Jack Stack,  took over and turned it around. He didn't know how to  "manage" a company, but he did know about the  principal, of athletic competition and democracy:  keeping score, having fun, playing fair, providing  choice, and having a voice. With these principals  he created his own style of management --  open-book management. The key is to let everyone in on  financial decisions. At SRC, everyone learns how to  read a P&L -- even those without a high school  education know how much the toilet paper they use  cuts into profits. SRC people have a piece of the  action and a vote in company matters. Imagine  having a vote on your bonus and on what businesses the  company should be in. SRC restored the dignity of  economic freedom to its people. Stack's  "open-book management" is the key -- a system  which, as he describes it here, is literally  a game, and one so simple anyone can use  it. As part of the Currency paperback line, the  book includes a "User's Guide" -- an  introduction and discussion guide created for the  paperback by the author -- to help readers make  practical use of the book's ideas. Jack Stack is the  president and CEO of the Springfield Remanufacturing  Corporation, in Springfield, Missouri. The recipient  of the 1993 Business Enterprise Trust Award, Jack  speaks throughout the country on The  Great Game Of Business and Open  Book Management.
The Deluxe Edition of Leaders Eat Last, now with an expanded chapter and appendix on leading millennials, includes over 30 minutes of exclusive video and 30 minutes of audio of Simon Sinek. The acclaimed, bestselling author of Start With Why and Together is Better delves deeper into book’s themes and shares additional examples and insights.
 
Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. 

In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. "Officers eat last," he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What's symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort--even their own survival--for the good of those in their care.
     
Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a "Circle of Safety" that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.
How maverick companies have passed up the growth treadmill — and focused on greatness instead.

It’s an axiom of business that great companies grow their revenues and profits year after year. Yet quietly, under the radar, a small number of companies have rejected the pressure of endless growth to focus on more satisfying business goals. Goals like being great at what they do, creating a great place to work, providing great customer service, making great contributions to their communities, and finding great ways to lead their lives.

In Small Giants, veteran journalist Bo Burlingham takes us deep inside fourteen remarkable companies that have chosen to march to their own drummer. They include Anchor Brewing, the original microbrewer; CitiStorage Inc., the premier independent records-storage business; Clif Bar & Co., maker of organic energy bars and other nutrition foods; Righteous Babe Records, the record company founded by singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco; Union Square Hospitality Group, the company of restaurateur Danny Meyer; and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, including the world-famous Zingerman’s Deli of Ann Arbor.

Burlingham shows how the leaders of these small giants recognized the full range of choices they had about the type of company they could create. And he shows how we can all benefit by questioning the usual definitions of business success. In his new afterward, Burlingham reflects on the similarities and learning lessons from the small giants he covers in the book.


From the Hardcover edition.
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