New Manager

Get the learning machine to work faster

D. Murali | Updated on October 30, 2011

Working Together Michael D. Eisner

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, Bill and Melinda Gates, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, Joe Torre and Don Zimmer, and John Angelo and Michael Gordon. What is common to the pairs? They are examples of successful partnerships that Michael D. Eisner showcases in Working Together (

Fretting that the central story about business in the 21st century has been all about ‘a handful of individuals who infected the economy with deceit, manipulation, and amorality,' Eisner reminds that partnerships devoid of envy, jealousy and rivalry run counter to the factors that contributed to the sequence of economic messes of recent times.

For instance, Warren Buffett cautions that partners, rather than being envious of each other, should value trust. “They have to discover how to keep their ego in check. They must put a premium on not just brains but human decency.” And Charlie admires Warren for the amazing amount of his knowledge, rapid thinking, and persuasive talking, so similar to Charlie in many ways. “You get two people like that who really like and trust one another, and have been together for a long time, you're going to learn a lot from each other, and you're going to advance faster. So the learning machine is working faster,” adds Charlie.

Walks, books: Partnerships are generally public affairs, while marriages are usually private, so how do Bill and Melinda Gates manage their joint pursuit in the form of the Foundation? Through discussions during walks that are a huge part of their marriage, says Melinda. The distinguishing characteristic of the partnerships is ‘happiness,' says the author. Partnerships made these people happy, and happier than they would have been had they worked for their success alone, he reasons. A book that offers hope and models, especially when the dominant imagery of business is one of turmoil.

Published on October 30, 2011

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