Benevolent Dictator Reviews Book Reviews

CEO Unplugged

By Geoff Garlandon June 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Rarely does a CEO grant access inside his/her mind, sharing perceptions, insights, styles, and business practices. Michael Feuer, founder and former CEO of OfficeMax, opens the floodgates of how he took OfficeMax from a three-store startup in Cleveland to a one thousand store enterprise with five billion dollars in annual revenue.

The Benevolent Dictator (“TBD”) is defined as the entrepreneur, manager, or CEO who puts everyone ahead of himself/herself, but is the one who makes the important decisions and knows when to say stop.

TBD has four segments: 1. Start-up; 2. Build out and put the idea to the test; 3. Constant reinvention; and, 4. The Payday. However, the forty “lessons”, i.e. chapters, are topical, permitting the reader to easily search for a particular subject. Have a great idea for a business? Take a look at Lesson # 10: Treat an Idea like Clay. You will find several golden nuggets of business wisdom there.

I found Mr. Feuer’s understanding of employees’ and customers’ psychological actions and characteristics fascinating. His knowledge is beyond textbook, gathered from years of first-hand observation and analysis. This is business human behavior on steroids.

While Mr. Feuer’s business background is retail, TBD is applicable to any type of business, even non-profits. It is a primer for current and aspiring CEO’s and Entrepreneurs. It should also be a required reading for business graduate students. The contents apply to marketing, human relations in organizations, leadership, and strategy–among others.

Mr. Feuer’s last name is the German word for “Fire”. After reading The Benevolent Dictator, a fire will be lit under you.

Now GOYA(Lesson #6)!