IN THIS SUMMARY
The term "to Dunlap" has become a verb in the business lexicon. It means "to turn a company around at lightning speed, to focus on the best, eliminate what is not the best, to protect and enhance shareholder value." "Dunlapping" is what Mean Business is about. It combines Dunlap’s colorful personal history with his unconventional views to explain the process by which Al Dunlap becomes and stays competitive. Competitiveness is what he’s about, and that’s what he says all CEOs must be about if they wish to stay in business. Get the management team right is Dunlap’s first rule. Management is the spine around which all the rest takes shape. But a catalyst from the outside must be brought in- someone who can say "no" and who is driven to do what is right for the business no matter what the obstacles, no matter who gets hurt, and no matter how much it shakes up the company’s structure. Mean Business definitely provides some worthwhile lessons: In good times and bad, everyone must be a turnaround manager. The way to magnify your own abilities is to surround yourself with great people. Cost is always your enemy, focus is always your friend. Envision the future, and plan a route to it. Taking the easy way out never works. Don’t be afraid to make changes. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Always tie executive pay to shareholder value. Remember, nobody owns the company but the people who invest in it. Seek out and free the good people, give them the opportunity to flourish from within. And sell your message. Thus, whether you are a beginning entrepreneur or a senior executive you can benefit from these simple directives by using them to develop your own unique game plan for competitiveness and success. But beware, Dunlap also says, "The price of strong leadership is criticism."