Monday, December 14, 2009

Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase

Respect. Duff McDonald’s new book is titled, Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase. This is an engaging and readable story of a talented and intriguing personality whose leadership of a major financial institution seems to have beaten all competitors. Dimon comes across in Last Man Standing as a hard worker, who digs into details deeply enough to gain insight and understanding. Rarely one to suffer fools gladly, his blunt communication style leaves little doubt about the meaning behind his messages. As a leader he’s strongly supportive of those talented people who work with him, and wants to be questioned and challenged in making key decisions. McDonald calls close attention to the impact of people decisions, especially the cost of the decision of Sandy Weill to fire Dimon. Throughout Last Man Standing, I came away with the perspective that Dimon respects others, and prefers honesty over anything else. While bordering at times on hagiography, Last Man Standing conveys the impact that one leader can have on a large organization, and how sticking to principles can lead to long term success. Every time I started to think he is too good to be true, an example of his success made me think he is really quite good at what he does. On top of his business success, Dimon places high priority on his family life, and that aspect of his life comes across in the book as normal and functional. When I finished the book, I thought of Jamie Dimon as the Winston Churchill of banking. Any reader with an interest in finance or leadership will find much to enjoy about Last Man Standing.

Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
Click here to purchase Last Man Standing from

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