Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Bold: How to Be Brave in Business and Win by Shaun Smith and Andy Milligan highlights successful companies from various industries. This is very valuable information for anyone interested in leadership or management at any company. Leaders tend to have the same personality traits in common, such as being tenacious or persevering when there is little hope of success. Leaders also need to learn from the mistakes of others, and that information is priceless especially when a manager is able to learn a new strategy from someone else’s blunders.

Bold also showcases the company leaders themselves as they express their strategies in first person accounts in each chapter. Some of companies featured in the book are : Virgin Galactic, Oz, AirAsia X, Chilli Beans, Zappos.com, Burberry, the Geek Squad and others. The book features pull outs, color photos, bold headings and informative subheadings along with theories and models. It is fun to read and each chapter discusses a different leadership strategy.

For example, let’s look at the Geek Squad. Some of us have seen the black and white cars (with the same coloring as police vehicles) with the “Geek Squad” logo painted on the side. Robert Stephens started the Geek Squad for Best Buy in 1994 with $200.00. The service offers technical support for at home computer users, and the technicians come to your home to resolve PC issues on the spot. Stephens had an idea of global domination and he has been quite successful. The Geek Squad is now also available in UK, and although the company is rapidly growing, the founder remains humble and still does training for new recruits.

The Geek Squad tests and stretches the employees by making them navigate around town to learn the lay out of the cities they will be working in and around. The word of mouth marketing and referrals are the primary source of capturing new business. The squad members are recruited for the technical talent that they bring to the organization and for their ability to solve the clients’ problems.

Besides being an awesome company to work for, the employees of all levels are appreciated for their efforts in many different ways by the managers. There is even a Geek Squad City at the repair facility center with a make-pretend Mayor and 700 employers with spiffy uniforms. Even though a customer will never see this repair team, they are dressed in synch, have a professional attitude and this translates to their superior attention to quality.

I enjoyed reading the back story to the success of the company because most people who see organizational success assume it is easy. These ideas took time to develop and time to perfect – then over years they turned into the gross money-making success stories that we know about today.

Bold is a type of anthology of success stories told by the leaders themselves. It is a valuable book for anyone interested in management, leadership or becoming an entrepreneur.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Kogan Page. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.