One thought on “My Years with General Motors”

  1. It's not really accurate to call this a memoir. It's more a business history of the early years of General Motors, from the viewpoint of its most famous executive Alfred P. Sloan. Sloan today is revered as a pioneer of business management; his name graces the Sloan School of Management at MIT, as well as his charitable causes, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (Charles Kettering was a pioneering GM engineer).Sloan instituted and oversaw many of GM's t [...]

  2. Over 50 years since its initial publication, this books still stands as one of the greatest business management classics. Written in a practical, matter-of-fact way, Sloan does not deliver a business how-to or a doctrine to follow, he simply explains the how and the why of various business decisions he was faced with during the take-off of the automobile industry in the early 20s. Sloan demonstrates how careful planning and market analysis allowed GM to topple Ford's Model T. An interesting disc [...]

  3. This is a true business classic. In this book Alfred Sloan shares his years of wisdom - while heading General Motors - in a variety of areas including planning, strategy, finance, leadership, innovation and management. Alfred was a true pioneer of his time in building the discipline of management and his approach is just as applicable now as it was in the early 1900s.Below are key lessons in the form of excerpts that I found particularly insightful from this must read classic.1- "I feel that a p [...]

  4. Book ReviewMy Years With General MotorsAlfred P. Sloan Jr.David E. McClendon Sr.The book My Years with General Motors by Alfred P. Sloan Jr. is highly recommended as the one business book every aspiring business student should read. Management guru Peter Drucker speaks of it several times throughout his writings. Bill Gates told Fortune, “My Years with General Motors is probably the best book to read if you want to read only one book about business.” This book really is not a “how to book [...]

  5. It's odd that this book is celebrated by many of today's corporate luminaries, including Bill Gates, as the best business book of all time. In fact, it's hard to imagine something more anathema to today's open offices and leaderless companies than this book, which often reads like a paean to the "org chart." The appendix contains seven such charts, which supplement another half-dozen sprinkled throughout the text, along with endless discussions of their benefits and problems.Admittedly, Alfred P [...]

  6. This is so highly rated because Sloan conveys through simple, concise language the solutions to the same problems we have made so complex (not that I know how to simplify them again). He writes it as a story. Credits include Bill Gate's acclaim and my original prompt to read it based on it's inclusion in a list of the top ten business books of all time. Sloan began with an engineering background, some business experience and a successful bearings business. It was bought by GM when the firm was c [...]

  7. A fascinating, in-depth view at a large corporation. Short of being the CEO of a giant corporation, it is hard to get an appreciation of what's involved in running a business of this magnitude. This book provides many insights into what makes a large corporation tick -- for example, establishing a system for tracking sales by dealers with a short delay (data submitted every 10 days in the 1920s) allowed GM to go through the depression with truly impressive profitability (by timely curtailing of [...]

  8. This is true business management classic.It can be regraded as the handbook for present day manufacturing companies.Bill Gates told Fortune, “My Years with General Motors is probably the best book to read if you want to read only one book about business.”

  9. If Peter Drucker is considered the father of modern administration, Alfred P. Sloan Jr. can be considered the man who implemented it. Drucker made a study of General Motors, specifically about its management. From this study came the best-seller "Concept of the Corporation". I think this book, altogether with "Adventures of a Bystander", both from Drucker, are a must read for people who want to completely understand the concepts of modern administration and the people involved in creating it, si [...]

  10. Too many words ;-) It's not conversational easy reading like contemporary business books. It's a pain to read it. However, it's a really good lesson in leadership. Sloan clearly didn't believe in pulling rank or letting himself get lobbied to make stupid business decisions by division leaders within GM. One of the central conflicts described in the book is the conflict over whether GM should bet big on copper-cooled engines (e.g. Chevrolet_Series_M_Copper-Cooled), which was (pardon the pun) the [...]

  11. "read it" is a bit of an exaggeration - i maybe finished 1/4 of this book. pretty thick, knew i wouldn't get all the way through, but figured since the guy endowed the bschool at mit, least i could was attempt the book. famous rec from bill gates, something to the effect of 'if you read one business book, read this' also helpedose is really not user friendly, if evaluating on this metric score would be lowerever, tells some interesting stories about the early days of gm. this guy had a plan and [...]

  12. It's a management hand book - a classic.Has more to do with GM years until the 1950sBut its an amazing historyTakeaways- Ford's inertia with the Model TDevelopment of the automobile from utilitarian, to an aspirational consumer good that required differentiationThe effect of war on GMAdvances in engines, fuel, and the automobile itself's other business divisionsThe steep learning curve that such a massive company had to go through - in terms of relations with its stakeholdersFun book. Not amazin [...]

  13. I read this because it is supposed to be one of the top books on management. No doubt the book is full of many great things and ideas. But for me it read more like a history of GM than a book on management. This is the first time I have read it and maybe things will settle in my mind more. I don't really want to criticize but I do have things to say. the book probably could have been more concise and less focused on "just the facts". I got bored reading some of the pages because I felt it was to [...]

  14. This book is a must read for all business owners, executives, college business majors and not just in the automotive. A fascinating autobiography for anyone interested in automotive history or 20th century business. It is as important today as it was when first written. The analysis of every situation and attention to detail from the records of General Motors and Sloan's own perspective and frankness is the hallmark of this book.

  15. Incredibly lucid account of the development of the modern corporation. The difference between GM as an entity that would bail out its founder and president William Durant after his speculative stock purchases imploded (a move Sloan seemed sour about) to a corporation that systematized and rationalized its decision-making process is immense.

  16. I just couldn't finish reading this book. It has very good business information and is an interesting history of the auto industry and industry in general for the time period covered. But it reads like corporate board room minutes. It would make a great reference tool but I just couldn't find enjoyment as a cover to cover read.

  17. Recommended to me by a distinguished colleague, it was my first true business book, and I feel the lessons are still relevant.

  18. A great read with many valuable lessons and insights. Offers many insightful stories told by a pioneer in the field of management.

  19. If you want to understand how modern companies work - here's how it started. The modern myth is bill gates read this book when running Microsoft to learn how to do it!

  20. An essential read for managers about the history of the present-day corporation structure, including boards of directors, committees and mergers.

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