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Hockey, Railroads, and the FBI – Diverse and Different but Dazzling

Hockey Fight In Canada by David Shoalts

  • in 2013 Rogers shocked the hockey world by winning the exclusive NHL rights over both CBC and their bitter rival, Bell Canada, with a $5.2B twelve year deal
  • the story provides an intriguing look into the historic role that CBC had in Hockey Night in Canada and how this decision changed the course of history
  • being a hockey fan all my life this provided some great insight into two of my favorite sports personalities (Ron MacLean and Don Cherry) as well as Gary Bettman and how media plays such a large role in this sport
  • Shoalts does a good job taking us thru the intricacies of a side of the sport that we don’t often consider to the level of detail that he breaks down
  • the only challenge was the factual nature of some of the dealings become a bit monotonous at times, however this was more than overcome by the interesting behind the scenes stories of a different side of the hockey business

 

Railroader: The Unfiltered Genius and Controversy of Four-Time CEO Hunter Harrison by Howard Green

  • the story of a larger than life man who revolutionized the railroad industry with a take no prisoners attitude that was all about shareholder value at the expense of anyone who got in the way
  • having worked in the railroad business for 27 years, Hunter was larger than life and my one and only encounter, at Spruce Meadows while talking to current CN CEO J.J. Ruest, gave me a first-hand glimpse into the all business side of this legendary figure
  • I know countless people that worked for the companies that he ran and the book does a great job of portraying his career while filling in many additional details on how his story unfolded
  • as a former President of a company, and one who managed in a more employee friendly manner, I kept wondering how important shareholder value is at the expense of the stress he created for the employees of the four companies he worked at, the boards of directors, and the customers
  • I would recommend this book to anyone as the railroad industry impacts everyone’s life and it provides valuable food for thought on managing any company

 

Chasing Phil by David Howard

  • In the late ’70s two young undercover FBI agents set a new precedent, amidst much internal controversy, to corral the worlds greatest white-collar financial criminal, Phil Kitzer, along with other members of what was known as The Fraternity
  • these chaps changed the course of FBI investigations from that time forward
  • having been involved in some financial scandals this book really resonated with me and to be perfectly honest, even after reading the book, I don’t quite understand some of the scams
  • it goes to show how some people have the knack to convince people that anything is real and to their benefit with a smooth-talking approach
  • this is an interesting and fun read that is currently still being played out to this day in terms of similar financial scandals but moreso in the cyber world
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