Great book ultimately about how Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira achieved their success in growing companies. I only list the key commandments, their management style was influenced by Goldman Sachs, GE and Walmart.
Garantia's (first investment bank founded by Jorge Paulo Lemann) original 18 commandments
- A big and challenging dream makes everyone row in the same direction.
- A company's biggest asset is good people working as a team, growing in proportion to their talent, and being recognized for that. Employee compensation has to be aligned with shareholders'interests.
- Profits are what attracts investors, people, and opportunities, and keep the wheels spinning.
- Focus is the essence. It's impossible to be excellent in everything, so concentrate on the few things that really matter.
- Everything has to have an owner with authority and accountability. Debate is good, but in the end, someone has to decide.
- Common sense is as good as fancy concepts. Simple is better than complicated.
- Transparency and information flow ease decision-making and minimize conflicts.
- Hiring people who are better than yourself, training them, challenging them, and retaining them is the main attribution of a manager.
- Leading through example is vital, in both heroic gestures and the simple actions of the company's day-to-day
- Luck is always a function of sweat. Work hard, but with joy.
- Things happen in the business' operations and in the market. You have to pound the pavement.
- Being paranoid about costs and expenses- the only variables under our control - helps ensure long term survival.
- Constant discontent, a sense of urgency, and zero complacency help ensure a sustainable competitive advantage.
- Innovations that add value are useful, but copying practices that already work is usually easier.
- Corporate and personal discretion are helpful. Showing off is only allowed when done with concrete objectives.
- Constant training and improvement have to be ongoing efforts and should permeate our routine.
- Name, reputation, and brands are precious assets that take decades to build and days to destroys
- Trickery and cheating can rot a company from the inside. Ethics pay off on the long run.
AB InBev's 10 Principles (the trio went on to build the largest and most profitable Beer Company in the world)
- Our shared Dream energize everyone to work in the same direction to Best Beer Company Bringing People Together for a Better World
- Our greatest strength is our people. Great people grow at the place of their talent and are rewarded accordingly.
- We recruit, develop, and retain people who can be better than ourselves. We will be judged by the quality of our teams.
- We are never completely satisfied with our results, which are the fuel of our company. Focus and zero complacency guarantee lasting competitive advantage.
- The consumer is the Boss. We serve our consumer by offering brand experience that play a meaningful role in their lives, and always in a responsible way.
- We are a company of owners. Owners take results personally.
- We believe common sense and simplicity are usually better guidelines than unnecessary sophistication and complexity.
- We manage our costs tightly to free up resources that will support sustainable and profitable top line growth.
- Leadership by personal example is at the core of our culture. We do what we say.
- We never take shortcuts. Integrity, hard work, quality, and responsibility are key to building our company.
I personally like the concept to divide costs into strategic costs which support long term development vs. non strategic costs. Companies should focus on having lower non strategic costs than the competition and higher strategic costs making them stronger over time.
A core aspect is setting goals which require a ca. 20% stretch in performance from everybody, highly rewarding the strong performers and firing the 10% worst performers. Focus on constant improvement and aligning individual goals with team goals, aligning team goals with corporate goals.
Every page of the book is worth reading as it is kept to the essentials.