Start with the Answer: And Other Wisdom for Aspiring Leaders

Bob Seelert

Wiley Business,  April 2009

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Today we rarely see the words "business" and "wisdom" in the same sentence. For Bob Seelert, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, the two go hand-in-hand. At a time when our economic systems desperately need to energize people and produce leaders at all levels, Seelert brings us Start with the Answer.

This collection of ninety-four real-life stories from Seelert's forty-year career as CEO of five companies in three different industries reveals transformative insights and practical instruction for anyone who want to succeed as an executive, business leader, or entrepreneur. In this highly readable and down-to-earth book, Seelert outlines his strategies, practice, and principle-centered approach to decision-making and problem-solving. Even more important, he shares the wisdom he has gained through exposure to extraordinary people, events, and institutions.

Based on his long and successful career, Seelert boils it all down to the eight dimensions of business life every leader must master in order to succeed -- preparation, building and managing a career, business strategy, business operations, finance and economics, leadership, culture and communication, and personal spirit and style.

As he explores these eight dimensions in detail, Seelert provides a wealth of experience-based tactics, principles, and ideas for overcoming all the basic challenges of the modern business world. With both the philosophy and the nuts and bolts of great leadership, Start with the Answer provides critical insight any aspiring leader can use to succeed in any industry.

But you'll find much more here than just business fundamentals, including a philosophical foundation for high-quality leadership in the modern business world. Start with the Answer argues that leaders must first come to know themselves, and then develop the values, beliefs, and principles they will carry through their careers in order to earn the trust of those they lead.

If you want to take your business career to the pinnacle of achievement and success -- and lead your organization to new heights as well -- you have to know where you're going before you plot your course. You must Start with the Answer.

hardcover | ISBN: 9780470450321 | Publication Date: April 2009

"Seelert's stories and wisdom demonstrate that the principles and practices leading to winning results in sports are highly transferable to the building of brands, businesses, and organizations. This book tells you how."
--Jack Twyman, NBA Hall of Fame player, former ABC Game of the Week announcer, and former Chairman and CEO, Super Food Services Inc.

"Seelert's comprehensive revelation of his leadership wisdom in priceless -- especially the management of culture through innovative communications, fueled by rock-solid personal spirit and style. Read and succeed . . . it's that actionable. Bob's the real leadership deal."
--John W. Luther, President, Luther & Company, Strategic Growth Consulting

"I've never been at me best when working for a boss in the traditional sense . . . Authority is not my favorite cultural tool. I am at my best (maybe like you) when I have a coach and mentor. Bob Seelert has played that for over a decade, providing me counsel, guidance, perspective, and unconditional love and support. Oh yes, and wisdom. Lots of it! You'll find out what I mean when you read this book."
--Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi

"Bob Seelert entered Saatchi & Saatchi in early 1995 when the company was in flux and extremely unstable. In a few short years, he not only stabilized the business, he grew it into an even greater advertising powerhouse than it once was. If anyone is qualified to write about business turnarounds, it's Seelert!"
--David Herro, Chief Investment Officer-International, Harris Associates LP

"Spencer Stuart placed Bob Seelert into leadership positions at Kayser-Roth and Saatchi & Saatchi at times when success seemed impossible, but failure was not an acceptable option. In both situations, he achieved highly successful turnarounds, and his stories tell you why."
--Thomas Neff, Chairman, Spencer Stuart USA

"Bob Seelert and I worked together for twenty years, and I saw firsthand how the wisdom in this book enabled him to build businesses and organizations. For MBA students and other aspiring business leaders, this book will become their well-thumbed how-to guide for constructing a successful career."
--Erv Shames, Lecturer, University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business and former President and CEO, General Foods USA and Borden, Inc.