The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by William N. Thorndike, Jr.
One-paragraph review: Lots of people rise to the top in business by being successful salespeople, managers, or administrators. In some cases, that's very good training for the ultimate role; in others, it's woefully inadequate (thus, the Peter Principle). But every company has to determine not only how to allocate its human resources, but also its financial ones (that is, once you make money, you have to decide what to do with it). And the problem is that there are very few ways to adequately train people for that kind of task. It's much easier to mindlessly expand a managerial domain and spend on corporate excesses and go along with whatever high-priced consultants say than to figure out, objectively and independently, what should be done with a company's profits. Those who are really good at it stand out, and this book is about those standouts (or, as Thorndike calls them, outsiders). A high degree of rationality in the allocation of a company's capital can make an enormous difference to its long-term success, and while it may be harder to find than, say, classic managerial skill, it's at least equally important. Thorndike's "outsiders" aren't all the same, but the ways in which they stand out are very much alike.
Verdict: The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success is an appealing take on rationality in capital allocation, or "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Investors Instead".