Bullish on Books Blog

Meg Whitman's Power of Many

I think it’s ironic that Meg Whitman, the woman who ran the world’s largest Internet “flea market” is not a collector. Well, she may not be a collector – but I am. I have a thing for Persian rugs, sterling settings and coins. Thankfully, eBay has allowed me to travel the world in pursuit of my passion without ever having to leave my kitchen table.

Whitman – the former eBay CEO, billionaire and California gubernatorial candidate, is out with a new book that hits shelves today.

"The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life" is part memoir - part business philosophy – and yes, part campaign speech divided up into 10 chapters outlining Whitman’s rules of thumb including:

  • Trust that people are basically good
  • Try something. The Price of inaction is high
  • Be authentic. You can’t buy integrity
  • Be frugal. Conserve resources

With less than five months until the June 8 California gubernatorial primary, the release of Whitman's book – is skillfully timed to capture both a reading audience and potential voters. The latest polls show she leads the state’s Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (who also has written a new book Mount Pleasant due out this spring) in the GOP race and she is inching up on the presumed Democratic candidate Jerry Brown. Telling her readers, "I am a problem-solver by nature," she writes, "I cannot sit by and just watch California fall apart. It's time to act."

In “Many,”she says she would run the Golden State ‘like a business” – knowing that it won’t be without its challenges and pushback. "Whenever you attack waste, one of the first reactions you get is an outcry from folks who say that you are cutting into muscle, not fat," she writes. "People generally hate change. It makes them nervous. My response as a manager is that it's important to cut until you get that reaction."

Writing, “I don’t recall a time in my life that we as a nation have so needed to tap the Power of Many. I believe the eBay experience vividly shows that businesses will best prosper by inviting customers and partners into their thinking and decision-making process.”

You can read an excerpt from “The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life" here. 

From the book: The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life by Meg Whitman with Joan Hamilton. Copyright 2010 by Meg Whitman. Published by arrangement with Crown, a division of Randomhouse, Inc.

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