Fertitta is a multibillionaire investor and restaurateur who stars in the CNBC reality show Billion Dollar Buyer. For business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs this is a must-read book, and it also contains principles for customer service and leadership success from which accounting and finance professionals can benefit.
What really makes the book’s insights easy to digest is that when Fertitta wants to emphasize a point in a chapter, it appears in a “Listen!” sidebar. Also, each chapter ends with “Tilman’s Targets”–a quick, easy-to-reference summary of the major points discussed in the chapter. As a university professor teaching accounting, economics, and finance courses, I find the real-world examples shared by Fertitta to be relevant and appropriate for integration into my lectures.
The book is divided into five sections outlining core areas that can destroy a business if the leaders aren’t aware of potential trouble spots. The “Hospitality” section shares many of Fertitta’s customer service principles that apply universally, such as ensuring that you listen to your customers and never telling a customer “no.” In the “You’d Better Know Your Numbers” section, Fertitta emphasizes why it’s critical for business leaders to know the numbers completely to make a successful sales pitch.
In “The 95:5 Rule: What’s Your ‘Five’?” section, he writes that most businesses are moderately successful at 95% of what they do, which is why it’s important to look for the other 5% to improve. In the “See the Opportunity, Seize the Opportunity” section, Fertitta shares tips for entrepreneurs and business leaders, such as treating every issue as a challenge instead of an obstacle and never being afraid to walk away from a deal. In the “Live Your Leadership” section, Fertitta shares how a great leader must accept and adapt to change and be willing to listen attentively, learn continuously, and teach others generously.