Plain Talk: Lessons from a Business Maverick

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9780471155140: Plain Talk: Lessons from a Business Maverick
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A visionary, maverick, and genuine American business hero, Ken Iverson is one of the most closely-watched business leaders in the world. Credited with single-handedly rejuvenating the rapidly declining American steel industry to the status of world-class producer, Iverson is one of the most successful and, as he likes to point out, one of the lowest-paid CEOs in the U.S. In his long-awaited book, Ken Iverson shares his ideas, observations, and the lessons he's learned about what it takes to grow a super-competitive, world-class organization.

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About the Author:

Kenneth Iverson was raised in Downers Grove, Illinois. After earning a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from Cornell and a master's degree in mechanical engineering at Purdue, Iverson started his career as a research physicist and held several technical and management positions in the metals industry. He joined Nuclear Corporation of America as a vice president in 1962. When Nuclear Corporation faced bankruptcy in 1965, the board elevated Iverson, then thirty-nine years old, to President and placed the company's future in his hands. He focused the failing company on two business -- fabricating joists from steel (to be used in nonresidential construction) and making steel itself from recycled metal scrap. In 1972, Nuclear Corporation changed its name to Nucor Corporation. Today, Nucor is America's third-largest steel maker. Iverson has served on the boards of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wachovia Corporation. President Bush awarded him the National Medal of Technology, Americas highest award for technological achievement.

Review:

"Ken Iverson is a leader whose vision shaped an industry and thefuture, a leader whose character, values, and ethics mergeseamlessly with the mission and values of a successful, innovativebusiness." -Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO, The Peter F.Drucker Foundation

Ken Iverson taught us that America could compete in a tough globaleconomy. He did it in an industry where being a maverick was theonly way. His accounting of Nucor's story should serve as a blueprint or us all. -David Glass, President and CEO, WalMart Stores,Inc.

No theory; just important, practical ideas proven by Ken Iverson inthe furnace at Nucor.-Peter Larson, Chairman and CEO, BrunswickCorporation

It is a masterpiece! Plain Talk provides a penetrating analysis ofwhy Nucor has performed so well for so long, full of insights andsolid conclusions. The book is easy to follow, very well written,and a 'must' read for every executive...a major contribution tobusiness. -Vijay Govindarajan, Earl C. Dum 1924 Professor ofInternational Business, Amos Tuck School of BusinessAdministration, DartmouthCollege

This is a story about Ken Iverson, a man who built a major steelcompany from ground zero, much of it during a period when the U.S.steel industry was losing 25% of its capacity. But most of all,it's about motivating people to a level of remarkableaccomplishment. You will enjoy reading this book as much as thepeople who work for Nucor enjoy being there.-James F. Collins,President, Steel Manufacturers Association

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