CONFESSIONS OF A STREET-SMART MANAGER by David with Richard Conarroe Mahoney


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Meditations might have been an apter choice for the title of this irreverent hit-or-miscellany. A demonstrably savvy operator, Mahoney can look back on an upwardly mobile career that took him from an ad-agency mailroom to the top spot at Norton Simon, Inc., with stepping, stone stops at Good Humor Corp. and Colgate-Palmolive Co. Unfortunately, he does so here in episodic fashion that sheds little real light on the qualities that spurred his climb. Nor, despite the author's disingenuous charms, does the name-dropping anecdotal text succeed as a hustler's, let alone executive, handbook. Though the circumstances are accorded short shrift, Mahoney (who claims to learn more from mistakes than success) is probably best remembered in the business community as the fellow who put Norton Simon into play with a low-ball buy out bid and wound up counting his millions on the sidelines--perhaps a gamesman's most bitter fate. Along his discursive way, the author offers putatively street-smart strategies that are more notable for breadth than depth--e.g., trust your hopes, not fears; cultivate contacts (as he did in an era before networking achieved buzzword status); and be wary of experts. Mahoney doses with an 11-point set of commandments mined from yet another inch-deep lode. Cases in point include injunctions to: leverage available resources; stay realistic; and enjoy what you're doing. Modestly diverting but largely inconsequential fare from a sometime corporate heavyweight.

Pub Date: Jan. 18th, 1987
Publisher: Simon & Schuster