Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive by Harvey Mackay is similar to Winning by Jack Welch in that both Harvey Mackay and Jack Welch go through several different areas of business and articulate their own opinion on how it should be done. I found that Mackay’s book had a bit more of an “entrepreneurial/small business” flavour to it compared to Welch’s book which had a bit more of a “corporate” flavour. This makes sense as Mackay started his own business, Mackay Envelopes, where as Welch started as an employee at GE and worked his way up the corporate ladder.
This book, as you might suspect, is a quite anecdotal with little references to any research or analysis but extremely useful nonetheless. Mackay does a fantastic job articulating concepts through his stories and experiences from his successful business career. Mackay is also very practical in his approach, avoids using buzzwords and buzzconcepts. Rather than giving you obscure theories and typical “fluff” that business books give you, Mackay delivers direct answers for realistic situations. Very easy to read and comprehend overall.
Mackay presents several useful and practical tools that he himself utilizes, including the “Mackay 66″, which is a customer relationship tool based on 66 different questions about your customer that, over time, should be completely answered. Even though this book was published in the late 80s, it did not feel dated at all and is still very relevant to this day.
Overall, highly recommended for anyone in business, small or large, old or new and simple or complex.