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Am I Being Too Subtle? Audiobook

Am I Being Too Subtle?: The Adventures of a Business Maverick

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Publisher's Summary

The traits that make Sam Zell one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs also make him one of the most surprising, enigmatic, and entertaining mavericks in American business.

Self-made billionaire Sam Zell consistently sees what others don't. From finding a market for overpriced Playboy magazines among his junior high classmates, to buying real estate on the cheap after a market crash, to investing in often unglamorous industries with long-term value, Zell acts boldly on supply and demand trends to grab the first-mover advantage. And he can find opportunity virtually anywhere - from an arcane piece of legislation to a desert meeting in Abu Dhabi.

"If everyone is going left, look right," Zell often says. To him, conventional wisdom is nothing but a reference point. Year after year, deal after deal, he shuts out the noise of the crowd, gathers as much information as possible, then trusts his own instincts. He credits much of his independent thinking to his parents, who were Jewish refugees from World War II.

Talk to any two people and you might get wild swings in their descriptions of Zell. A media firestorm ensued when the Tribune Company went into bankruptcy a year after he agreed to steward the enterprise. At the same time, his razor-sharp instincts are legendary on Wall Street, and he has sponsored over a dozen IPOs. He's known as the Grave Dancer for his strategy of targeting troubled assets, yet he's created thousands of jobs. Within his own organization, he has an inordinate number of employees at every level who are fiercely loyal and have worked for him for decades.

Zell's got a big personality; he is often contrarian, blunt, and irreverent, and always curious and hardworking. This is the guy who started wearing jeans to work in the 1960s, when offices were a sea of gray suits. He's the guy who told The Wall Street Journal in 1985, "If it ain't fun, we don't do it." He rides motorcycles with his friends, the Zell's Angels, around the world and he keeps ducks on the deck outside his office.

As he writes: "I simply don't buy into many of the made-up rules of social convention. The bottom line is: If you're really good at what you do, you have the freedom to be who you really are."

Am I Being Too Subtle? - a reference to Zell's favorite way to underscore a point - takes listeners on a ride across his business terrain, sharing with honesty and humor stories of the times he got it right, when he didn't, and most important, what he learned in the process.

This is an indispensable guide for the next generation of disrupters, entrepreneurs, and investors.

©2017 Sam Zell (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • David K. Robbins
    California
    06/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story, but ...."
    If you could sum up Am I Being Too Subtle? in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating
    Inspiring
    Insightful


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Am I Being Too Subtle??

    The early chapters on Mr. Zell's parents, including their escape from Poland, are important and fascinating.


    What didn’t you like about Sam Zell’s performance?

    Mr. Zell has many fine qualities. A good, or even mediocre, speaking voice is not one of them. He should have chosen someone else - anyone else - to narrate the book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many fine moments. Hard to pick one.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend you buy the book in other than audible form.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus - JOMA
    Japan
    05/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "tells it as it is"

    Good to hear Zell narrate this. Has more meaning $39B exit in 2007 how good is that. This guy knows how to get shit done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • DAN
    Utah
    31/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "listened to it the author narrated"

    Sam Zell narrates his own life story as the son of Jewish refugees from Poland.
    The escape route through Japan is little known.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Evan
    Philadelphia
    30/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Differently Decent"

    The author has a bit of an unconventional approach to business and life that I really enjoyed. I got a lot of practical information out of this and thought it was useful and inspirational.

    Wasn't a big fan of the author's voice at first, but you get used to it rather quickly. Excellent use of stories to illustrate points.

    Cheers!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kimi
    Finland
    27/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Missing the point"

    The book is having difficulties in sticking to the point with random branches that don't really bring any value to the story.

    Also, I find that this is one of those stories about success that don't tell you anything about being successful but rather just tell "what I did". Entertaining yes, but not valuable.

    This is read by the author. He has a very distinct voice that makes the story more personal but the flow of reading isn't smooth always. You can really hear line breaks and page turns as pauses in the flow. This book would have benefited from a professional voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andy
    15/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Highest recommendation. Thank you Mr. Zell!"

    Loved this engaging book. Full of great true stories how Sam whole-heartedly faced and overcame many interesting hurdles. Very encouraging how he worked for win-win deals over and over and rose to international prominence. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ken S.
    01/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Are you being to stupid if you miss this book? Yes!"

    Don't pass up this listen for goodness sakes! Do you love knowing the secrets of universe? Listen. Do you love making money and want to learn how to make more? Listen! Are you a billionaire yet? Listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Radek
    19/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Favorite book of 2017 so far"

    Great story and performance by the author. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is full of valuable insights on dealmaking and business.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Andre Bueno
    16/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a boss"

    I'm a huge fan of Sam Zell and reading his book and studying his interviews have been incredibly insightful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • bargainseeker
    Brazil
    15/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring!"



    Business, ethics, principles and drive all merged into one life story! 

    Hearing it from the author directly made it even better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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