BUSINESS
NOT AS USUAL Volume 2

Beyond the Bottom Line

by Hugh Aaron

ISBN 978-1-882521-11-1, 202 Pages, Softcover
List price   $17.95

A Description of the Book
Based on the first-hand experiences of a creative CEO, the essays in this collection are of unsurpassed value to anyone in business or about to be. They cover a range of business topics not discussed in the first volume of Business Not As Usual, Aaron's previous book on business management. They continue the author's own story of the struggle that is business, and the role that human relationships play.

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You may be familiar with Hugh Aaron's iconoclastic articles published during the mid-90s in the Manager's Journal column of The Wall Street Journal. They challenged American management to question traditional business practices. Now, his second book of essays, Business Not As Usual-Volume 2, Beyond the Bottom Line expands his thesis and offers a unique contribution to the business literature.

Aaron draws upon his experience of twenty years as a CEO in the plastics industry. His enterprise was a virtual management laboratory. Not satisfied to merely stay afloat during hard times, Aaron experimented with a range of management techniques. Often the very survival of his business depended on his willingness to try innovative methods.

Now retired, the author looks back at his company's success. He finds himself concerned with the failure of many American businesses to meet the needs of its employees, and our society while competing in a world economy. In Business Not As Usual-Volume 2, Beyond the Bottom Line he discusses issues concerning the outside influences and realities that impinge on a business and how to deal with them.

Aaron's writing style is highly readable. The book is structured for the busy executive who can read any essay as an entity without having to know what preceded it. The book will also inform the lay reader who wants to learn how business decisions are made and about the people who make them.

Above all, this book presents the business wisdom of a human, resilient CEO who speaks from his actual experience about the innovative solutions he applied to running a business in an unpredictable world.


CONTENTS

FOREWORD

Chapter 1 - ON STARTING OUT
No Cause for Regret
Time for a Change

Chapter 2 - ON FREE ENTERPRISE
The Immorality of Capitalism
Hooked on Growth
The Myth of the Heartless Businessperson
The Cruel Free Enterprise System

Chapter 3 - ON MANAGING FOR PROFIT
Irrationality in Business
Businesses Don't Fail, People Do
The Enthusiastic Company
The Seven Deadly Small Business Sins
A Review of The Machine that Changed the World
Increase Productivity: Work Less
It's the Culture, Stupid
The Many Lives of a Business
Downsizing for Profit
The Status Quo Be Damned
Shaping the Bottom Line

Chapter 4 - ON SELLING
An Understudy's Dream

Chapter 5 - ON MOTIVATION
Motivation American Style
Defining Incentives
What Makes a Team Go?

Chapter 6 - ON PROFIT SHARING AND EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP
The Limitations of Employee Ownership
Stock Options, the CEO, and the Employees

Chapter 7 - ON MANAGING THROUGH RECESSION AND REVERSAL
Why my Business almost Failed but Didn't

Chapter 8 - ON EMPLOYEES
Breaking the Discrimination Barrier
The Obsolescent Specialist
Beyond the Bottom Line
Making it on the Dole

Chapter 9 - ON CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS (CEOs)
Is Exorbitant Monetary Reward Necessary?
The Successful CEO
Facing the Awful Truth
What's a CEO Worth?
A CEO's Life Cycle
What Makes a CEO Go?
The Public Company?

Chapter 10 - ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP
How to Become a Millionaire

Chapter 11 - ON PARTNERS, FRIENDS AND RELATIVES
Who Needs Partners?

Chapter 12 - ON LEADERSHIP
Leaders are Made, Not Born
CEOs Can Strike Too
Dishonesty Pays, But
Whose Fault Is It?

Chapter 13 - ON GOVERNMENT VERSUS BUSINESS
The Penalty of Success
What's So Bad about Inflation?
Government's Role in Creating Jobs
Run the Government like a Business, Mr. President
A Businessperson as President
Treat Business as Your Partner, Mr. President
Locating the Company in Paradise

Chapter 14 - ON TAXES AND BUSINESS
Taxes and the Businessperson
Small Business and the Capital Gains Tax
Small Business and the Income Tax
How to Beat a Recession

Chapter 15 - ON MORALITY AND RESPONSIBILITY
A Rage for the New
A Model for Poor Nations to Follow?

Chapter 16 - ON RETIREMENT
Neither A Borrower nor A Lender Be
Social Security: The Big Deception

Chapter 17 - A SHORT BUSINESS STORY
The Mentor

FOREWORD
BUSINESS NOT AS USUAL Volume 2: Beyond the Bottom Line is an unconventional business book in that

1) It's written directly from the writer's actual experience.
2) It's presented in a compelling narrative form.
3) Each essay describes a lesson learned as a result of failure or success.
4) Its openness, frankness and honesty are unflinching.
5) It deals with a wide variety of topics regarding operating a business.

As a unified work, it is a wide-ranging collection of autobiographical essays written over a period of fifteen years that trace the story of a CEO from the founding of his company to the day it was sold nearly twenty years later. The essays depart from the conventional business book by including the blood, guts, pathos, drama, comedy, tragedy, and wisdom involved in running a business today. It is therefore an all encompassing tale, with no punches pulled, of what it means to be a CEO, an employee, a customer, a government worker, a corporate executive, and a member of a community with respect to a company.

While BUSINESS NOT AS USUAL Volume 2: Beyond the Bottom Line will appeal to employees and executives of large and small companies as well as established entrepreneurs and those starting out, it will be of particular interest to business schools. Since the essays deal to a large extent with the human side of business, indeed promulgating that the essence of business concerns mostly human relationships, the collection is about life itself. As a result, the general reader will also find BUSINESS NOT AS USUAL Volume 2: Beyond the Bottom Line engrossing. Most people are employed by an enterprise of some sort and are fascinated by the workings of business at the highest level. BUSINESS NOT AS USUAL Volume 2: Beyond the Bottom Line addresses and fulfills that curiosity.

ABOUT THIS BOOK
These essays were written throughout the mid-1990s and the first decade of the twenty-first century. A number of them were published in the Manager's Journal column of The Wall Street Journal following the publication of the first volume of BUSINESS NOT AS USUAL - How to Win Managing a Company through Hard and Easy Times. Others were accumulated with the aim of being published at some uncertain future date. They were not composed as a continuum; they were simply a vehicle by which the author could formulate his thoughts in reaction to what he read or experienced in so-called retirement. Often he presents a particular essay from an angle different from what has been previously established so that it will stand alone, and give fresh meaning to the subject.
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