Beating the Odds
IN THIS SUMMARY
Beating the Odds offers a lesson in leadership in which we are shown how one man was the living embodiment of innovation, change, continuing improvement, empowerment, integrity, and vision. It is a case history whose theoretical context has already been served up in numerous forms and fashions in countless leadership/management works, ad infinitum.Paramount had become the world’s largest movie company by merging with or buying theater circuits across the country, mostly between 1912 and 1929. Shortly after Goldenson became head of theaters, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Paramount, Loews, Columbia, Fox, RKO, United Artists, and Universal. The government argued that the practices that had led to the rise and immense success of the entire motion picture industry violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. Although the era of the giant studios was ended in one stroke, the new system was far better for producers and distributors in the long run.ABC’s rise to preeminence was not due entirely to its success in programming. The network’s owned and operated stations and the acquisition of affiliates equal in quality and number to those of the other networks contributed enormously. Its stations built a tremendously effective news operation, proving that local news could both attract viewers and turn a profit. Without exception, the stations with the strongest news departments lead their individual markets.ABC’s greatest success, however, was ESPN, the round-the-clock sports cable network. By the late 1980s, ESPN was the strongest service on cable, and for a time, was even stronger than any of the three broadcast networks.The essence of both the man, Goldenson, and this work, are eloquently addressed by Warren Buffett in the Foreword: "Business management can be viewed as a three-act play-the dream, the execution, and passing the baton, Leornard Goldenson will be remembered as master of all."