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Book Review: Direct From Dell

Direct From Dell authored by Michael Dell who is the very Founder and CEO of Dell, is a business memoir. 

This book surely falls in the list of must reads for every leader, especially in the IT industry. I bet you will profit from the bucketlist of the author's experience that is well articulated. 

I gave it a full 5 stars for this book in Goodreads. Why? Because, there isn't a sentence that you would feel like skimming through and beware that this book is a page turner that will engross your attention to finish it all in one-sitting. But I would say, DON'T finish it in one sitting. Read it, assimilate it, introspect how you can put it to practice in your leadership.

The author drives home a leadership nugget or two in every chapter that he has authored and there are 15 chapters of distilled leadership experience of fighting the battles from the forefront, drawing strategies of being ahead of the competition by instilling customer first thinking in everyone across board in the organization (did you see this in action during my leadership? ;), and various other critical leadership lessons on collaboration, humility, empathy etc. 

Let me quote 10 punch-lines of sorts that I found early on in this book that I personally embrace and put to practice.
  1. Continuous learning is a continuous theme in Dell.
  2. Culture is one of the main reasons that our company has been successful where others have not.
  3. Execution is everything. No excuses.
  4. It is a myth that one person can run a company.
  5. Anybody can sprint for a while but not for long.
  6. Quality of decision making increases when we build on one another's ideas.
  7. Be fascinated with eliminating unnecessary steps.
  8. Nearly everyone is motivated by fear in some form.
  9. Always think about what is possible and achievable; and then set stretch goals accordingly.
  10. Dell was founded on the premise of, "Always under-promise and over-deliver - to customers, employees and partners". Frankly, I first heard this from Infosys Founder Narayan Murthy when I was in my school. This stuck with me since then.
I really don't want to play spoiler here and in fact there is a wealth of lessons that you can benefit from reading this book. Go read it and come back to thank me later.

Confession: I purchased this book many years back but didn't read it until this week. Trying my best to break my tsundoku.