Michael Eisner's e-mail to friends about his upcoming book
Former Disney chief Michael Eisner, who is in talks to become chairman of Tribune Co.'s board, recently played reporter to write his upcoming book, "Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed." Here is an e-mail he sent to friends about the book Wednesday.
As the summer comes to a close, I wanted to send you a note to let you know that I'm eagerly anticipating the release of my book, WORKING TOGETHER: WHY GREAT PARTNERSHIPS SUCCEED, which will be published by HarperCollins on September 14th.
This all began about a decade ago when I found myself trying to figure out why my partnership with Frank Wells at Disney was so magical for us. Then I started thinking about partnerships in general, about great combos in business and in life, about the elusive nature of "working together." We're all brought up in a world of sharing, from birth to at least through 6th grade, but somewhere along the way, that spirit all too often seems to get lost in the competitive world of life and business. So, for this book, I decided I'd go out and talk with some of the most successful partnerships in the business world and beyond, and find out how these folks work together, rather than alone.
I ended up learning a lot. I spoke with, and wrote about, some of the most successful people in the world. I started with Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, who talked a lot about something they don't have in their partnership: envy. I interviewed Bill and Melinda Gates, who talked about the interaction of their two partnerships -- at their foundation, and in their marriage. I visited with the producer Brian Grazer and director Ron Howard, who have kept their Hollywood partnership successful for more than two decades with a unique arrangement. I went to Paris to speak with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti. I interviewed Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus about their partnership at Home Depot, and Ian Schrager about his collaboration at Studio 54 with the late Steve Rubell. I talked to Joe Torre and his bench coach Don Zimmer as they looked back at what they accomplished with the New York Yankees. I had lunch with a pair of chefs, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, learning how they find room for two cooks in their kitchens (including the popular Border Grill in Santa Monica). And I wrote about my friend John Angelo, and his incredibly successful partnership with Michael Gordon at the financial firm Angelo Gordon, one of the few places to actually find a way to thrive during the recent recession. I even talked to the two greatest bridge players in the world.
Each chapter is devoted to a different long-lasting partnership. And the result of all this work is a book that shows that there's not just one way to work together -- there are infinite possibilities, and that those who work with a partner are, very plainly, happier people. By no means is it easy, but reading these stories will hopefully teach you -- as it taught me -- that in business, and beyond, one plus one adds up to a lot more than two.
I am writing this note because HarperCollins thought it was a good idea for obvious promotional reasons. I on the other hand am slightly embarrassed to do it.
P.S. Per the instructions to me from my "partner" HarperCollins, you can pre-order the book at your favorite retailer now (see the helpful links below) or wait until September 14th. And you can read it on an iPad, a Kindle, or of course the old-fashioned way. You may also listen to it through audible.com.
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