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No. of Recommendations: 5
When I wrote for I made it a point to read every column by Doug Kass. He works hard, thinks for himself, writes with style, is willing to challenge conventional wisdom, encourages lesser talents, and has an endless supply of interesting and entertaining anecdotes about Wall Street, harness racing, and cousin (Brooklyn Dodger's great) Sandy Koufax. As we should all aspire to, Doug can disagree with you about business or politics without being disagreable. While I have not met Doug in person, he seems like the type of person that if you had dinner with him, when you stood up and patted your tummy, you'd think, "He's a fascinating person."

With this an an introduction, I was surprised and honored that Doug chose It's Earnings That Count as one of his top picks in this recommended booklist for BusinessInsider.


My work on The Checklist Investor (working title) continues apace. Today I am explaining how jumbo-sized CEO signatures = jumbo-sized sense of self-importance = below-average earnings performance and stock results. (Source: "Size Does Matter (in Signatures), Harvard Business Review, May 2013)

Am also working on the 'Culture' chapter. Since the Motley Fool checklist of 30 items has at No. 20, "Conscious Capitalism" ("Is management looking out for the interests of all stakeholders — customers, employees, shareholders?"), the following case study, also from the current issuer of HBR, may interest you. Happy employees really do drive financial performance, as I highlight below.

"What is the best company on earth to work for? People will not follow a leader they feel in inauthentic. Underlying the differences of circumstance, industry, and individual ambition are six common imperatives. Together they describe an organization that operates at its fullest potential by allowing people to do their best work. We call this the "organization of your dreams," In a nutshell, it's a company where individual differences are nurtured; information is not suppressed or spun; the company adds value to employees, rather than merely extracting it from them; the organization stands for something meaningful; the work itself is intrinsically rewarding; and there are no stupid rules. Research from the Hay Group finds that highly engaged employees are, on average, 50% more likely to exceed expectations than the least-engaged workers. And companies with highly engaged people outperform firms with the most disengaged folks--by 54% in employee retention, by 89% in customer satisfaction, and by fourfold in revenue growth. Employees who feel welcome to express their authentic selves at work exhibit higher levels off organization commitment, individual performance, and propensity too help others. Further, The organization of your dreams does not deceive, stonewall, distort, or spin. It recognizes that in the age of Facebook, WikiLeaks, and Twitter, you're better off telling people the truth before someone else does. (Source: Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones. "Creating the Best Workplace on Earth," Harvard Business Review, May 2013)

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