Sharing My War Stories

I’ve always known that reaching a major goal takes a lot of work. Completing my new book, “How Not to Hire a Guy Like Me: Lessons Learned from CEOs’ Mistakes,” was no exception.

It took me decades of work in the turnaround field to experience all the stories that are contained in the book, many of which would be difficult for me to believe if I hadn’t been there myself. Who gets shot at – twice – while working in this industry?

There are a lot more stories, although they don’t generally involve gunfire. One involves a knife – brandished by a son at his mother after he got fired. You’ll also read about church ladies stealing, CEOs cheating, CFOs lying, and a multi-million dollar company that rationed toilet paper for its employees.

One reader familiar with my industry commented, “You even figured out a way to work sex into a book about the turnaround industry.”

The first newspaper article about my new book appeared last week, and I’d like to thank the reporter, Bobby Tedder, for interviewing me and writing the story below. I’m not sure whom the headline about Titans refers to, though. I never played football for Tennessee. But I like the alliteration and the phrase Turnaround Titan would look nice on a business card.

Note: I’ll be interviewed this Tuesday on WREK, FM 91.1, the radio station at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, on the “Let’s Talk Business” show from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. 

Business Turnaround Titan Pens Book of Wisdom

By Bobby Tedder, btedder@neighbornewspapers.com

Lee Katz, whose reputation as a company fixer precedes him, is finally offering a bound volume of words of wisdom for public consumption.
The Katz-penned “How Not To Hire a Guy Like Me: Lessons Learned From CEOs’ Mistakes” recently hit the market.

“It’s written for anyone. … Any business owner can benefit from it,” he said.

The Sandy Springs resident product has specialized in turning firms of varying sizes and covering a broad range of industries around. His crisis management career, including stints working with public and private companies, spans three decades.

He called the book the culmination of discussions with his many clients and friends.

“They told me I have so many great war stories to share,” he said.

That group of confidants reads like a virtual Who’s Who list from the business realm.

That would include former Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, whose endorsement of Katz’s book is found on the back cover.

“Read it. Learn from it. Benefit from Lee’s many years as the Turnaround Authority,” Marcus wrote.

Among the many topics Katz tackles in the book are the elements of solid leadership and detailed advice on how to recognize and respond to internal fraud.

“People keep asking me what took me so long to come out with a book,” said Katz. “The answer is that I’ve been working 60- and 70-hour weeks all these years.”

The Georgia Tech alum’s tome could gain added traction beyond the business elite considering its content is not on the esoteric side.

The book is written in a language that is accessible to the average reader — or “folksy,’’ as Katz put it.

“Those people who have read it say it [reads] like me talking. … It’s very straightforward,” he said.

© neighbornewspapers.com 2013

One thought on “Sharing My War Stories

  1. Pingback: Communicate, Negotiate and Delegate in a Turnaround | The Turnaround Authority

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