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Synopsis

When Bob Lutz retired from General Motors in 2010, after an unparalleled forty-seven-year career in the auto industry, he was one of the most respected leaders in American business. He had survived all kinds of managers over those decades: tough and timid, analytical and irrational, charismatic and antisocial, and some who seemed to shift frequently among all those traits. His experiences made him an expert on leadership, every bit as much as he was an expert on cars and trucks. Now Lutz is revealing the leaders-good, bad, and ugly-who made the strongest impression on him throughout his career. Icons and Idiots is a collection of shocking and often hilarious true stories and the lessons Lutz drew from them. From enduring the sadism of a Marine Corps drill instructor, to working with a washed-up alcoholic, to taking over the reins from a convicted felon, he reflects on the complexities of all-too-human leaders. No textbook or business school course can fully capture their idiosyncrasies, foibles and weaknesses - which can make or break companies in the real world. Lutz shows that we can learn just as much from the most stubborn, stupid, and corrupt leaders as we can from the inspiring geniuses. The result is a powerful and entertaining guide for any aspiring leader.

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Icons and Idiots
Average rating
4.5 / 5
Great, quick read.
August 6th, 2015
This is a fascinating look at some of the people Lutz met from his middle school education through his years in the industry. I must admit I am a bit of a Lutz fan. This book gives insight into what shaped one of the strongest characters in the auto field. It is an interesting and easy read. Interestingly, Lutz's choices are both strong and flawed. He treats all even-handedly. I highly recommend this read, so long as you understand the author has strong opinions and tendency to preach a bit.
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