Notes & Quotes: Business Brilliant by Lewis Schiff

The following are my favorite quotes from Lewis Schiff's Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons.
  1. Tens of thousands of hospital patients die from infections every year. One estimate puts the number at 250 per day, which is greater than the death toll from breast cancer, air crashes, car crashes, and AIDS combined.
  2. There are two very interesting things about the Allegheny General experience. The first is that there was no need to bring in a new, more experienced, or more talented people to work in intensive care. That's usually the answer in most workplaces when a department is having problems. Shake up the personnel. Get some new leadership in there. But talent was not the problem. Shannon was able to produce world-class results with the same bright and highly trained people who, one year earlier and under different operating practices, had allowed 19 of their patients to die from infections.
  3. By performing faithfully (not flawlessly) the proper set of everyday, replicable behaviors, the results you produce can be outstanding, unpredictable, and sometimes unimaginable.
  4. More than 7 in 10 middle class survey respondents said "Doing what I love and allowing the money to follow" was important to their financial success. Just 2 in 10 of our self-made millionaire survey respondents agreed with that statement.
  5. 8 in 10 self-made millionaires have a substantial ownership stake in their work.
  6. To be autonomous, to do what you love and follow the money, you need to make choices most people are too afraid to make and ask for things most people are afraid to ask for.
  7. About 9 in 10 self-made millionaires say "it's important in negotiations to exploit weaknesses in others." Among the middle class, just over 2 in 10 agreed.
  8. About 7 out of 10 of the middle class survey respondents said that they believe it takes "a big or new idea" to become wealthy. Only 3 out of 10 self-made millionaires agreed.
  9. Nearly 9 in 10 middle class survey respondents believe that financial success requires putting one's own capital at risk. Less than 4 in 10 self-made millionaires believe in the need to risk any of one's own capital.
  10. People who have already achieved financial success understand that self-made does not mean self-financed. This is why know-who is more important than know-how.
  11. In any relationship, especially a business relationship, the person with the least interest in continuing the relationship is the one with the greatest power for setting its terms. The weaker your interest, the stronger your leverage.
  12. Excellence, or mastery -- capabilities that produce real value in the workplace and are only achieved by working from your strengths.
  13. If you want to learn something useful about failure, go talk to the most successful person you know.
  14. You need to try things that are risk-prone and difficult because that's where the money is.
  15. If you remain mindful that failure may have also resulted in some new unanticipated possibilities, you're more likely to regard failure with an open mind.
  16. The belief that failure is necessary for success, a belief shared among self-made millionaires but not among the middle class, could be the most important finding our survey has uncovered. To believe that failure can be good, that failure can work, is essential to developing your Business Brilliance.
  17. Sifting for signs of the extraordinary from among the ordinary is a very sound method of isolating the precise factors that account for high performance and success.
  18. There are four broad areas of daily activity that successful self-made entrepreneurs undertake more effectively and consistently than most people. I call the four Learning, Earning, Assistance, and Persistence. (LEAP)
  19. Only 1 in 10 self-made millionaires became wealthy by working for someone else.
  20. You want to take an ownership stake, even if it's just a small share, of anything that might be destined to be sold later at many multiples of its current value.
  21. 17 Essentials of Business Brilliance:
    1. Write down your goals.
    2. Commit to what you do best.
    3. Follow the money.
    4. Climb the "line-of-money" ladder.
    5. Run the numbers.
    6. Protect your bottom line.
    7. Press your advantage.
    8. Plan the divorce in advance.
    9. Keep your network small and focused.
    10. Manage your network upward.
    11. Build a team.
    12. Get a coach.
    13. Make friends with failure.
    14. Keep your changes to yourself.
    15. Try, try, try, try again.
    16. Don't procrastinate.
    17. Make your own luck.