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Soul of the Firm [Paperback]

By C. William Pollard (Author)
Our Price $ 14.44  
Retail Value $ 16.99  
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Item Number 67526  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   180
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.48 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 2000
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310234875  
EAN  9780310234876  
UPC  025986234874  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In this provocative new guide for managers, chairman Bill Pollard explains the reason behind the enormous growth and success of ServiceMaster: its commitment to the development of its people. This is no new management fad, no highly touted process improvement. The secret they have discovered is the "soul of the firm."

Buy Soul of the Firm by C. William Pollard from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780310234876 & 0310234875 upc: 025986234874

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More About C. William Pollard

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C. William Pollard (JD, Northwestern University School of Law) is chairman emeritus and adviser to the ServiceMaster Company, and has served on the boards of a number of educational, religious, and not-for-profit organizations, including Central DuPage Health, Wheaton College, the J. Dennis Hastert Center, the Drucker Institute, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Pollard practiced law for many years, specializing in corporate finance and tax matters, and also served as vice president of Wheaton College for a time. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including the bestseller The Soul of the Firm. Pollard and his wife, Judy, have been married for over 45 years and have four adult children and fourteen grandchildren.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Soul of the Firm  Jan 30, 2010
I just went to work for Service Master. The book was written by Willaim Pollard. What an awesome company and what awesome prinicples they practice within the Corporate structure and with in each franchise. It is worth reading for anyone weather you work for them or not. It is great for renewing you faith in American business here and around the world.
There are ethical ways to run a compnay  Aug 6, 2007
Pollard offers us an example that the old adage - Treat others as you would like to be treated - can work in a service business and be very successful (read billions of dollars). Its no harder than any other business model and you are left with the idea that all companies should work this way. He begins by examining the need to work and then the wisdom of the choices business leaders make to address that need. Self worth, dignity, honoring God and bettering yourself and peers are woven into the business' objective to pursue excellence and make a profit. His wisdom built through personal choices, experiences and constant learning is clearly detailed in the pages and is a must read for every level of management.
A great book with heart  Feb 29, 2004
In an time when "cutting corners" means squeezing everything you can out of employees, this book is especially important. Pollard makes it clear that people are what make a company great, and if you want to succeed you have to think of people first.
A corporation with a true soul and solid core values.  Apr 28, 2003
This book describes a rarity in the modern Western corporate arena; a company that operates in the marketplace of publicly held companies led by a set of core values aligned to putting people before profits. The values espoused by the ServiceMaster Company include; "To Honor God In All We Do, To Help People Develop, To Pursue Excellence, and To Grow Profitably."

As stated by the CEO, C. William Pollard, "the first two are 'ends', the second two are 'means'. Few find fault with our commitment to a set of principles, it is the God language that raises some eyebrows." That is not the only thing this Company has done to raise eyebrows, meeting the numbers, delivering consistent world-class service, and delivering profits to shareholders also gets attention.

This book is a great look into a Company with values all organizations could benefit from. Among them is the concept that "employees want to work for a cause, not just a living". When you think about what ServiceMaster actually does (not the most glamorous or well-paid work) we can understand how difficult this would be to execute.

The book itself is a quick read, and full of some good insight. It is not as in depth as I would have liked, but overall provides some outstanding ideas on how to prioritize values, and remain true to one's principles. The example set by the Company and the CEO demonstrates that not all of Corporate America places greed as their highest priority.

Not Remarkable  Oct 23, 2002
"Soul of the Firm" is, unfortunately, just another anecdotal essay written by a top CEO. Pollard's achievements are incredible, and a reader should expect an incredible book from him.

Pollard's history involves running one of the most impressive service companies ever, ServiceMaster. He took it from an already solid company and helped it become a great company through buyouts, aggressive expansion, and managing with integrity. He deserves to be hailed into a management hall of fame. His book, however, lacks depth.

We read what he thinks, and this is good stuff. In fact, everything in here is good stuff. His views on God, what his faith means in the workplace, how to be a servant leader. I'm nodding my head saying "Preach it!" as I write. But give us more, Mr. Pollard. Give us details of a businessman's business, not a book for upper mangement to give to middle managers on a work retreat to read on the train commute.

Don't repeat Carnegie, Drucker with a Christian backdrop. We've read their books. Give us meat. ServiceMaster has had some complex issues they've struggled through. Did overexpansion complicate stock prices? As society continues to secularize, what does this mean to a once faith-based company? Will it go the way of the YMCA, with its roots merely as its history, or will it hold tight to the core principles and God which wrought those principles?

Challenge us, Mr. Pollard. How does a Christian who is a top manager deal with underpaid staff workers who can barely pay their rent? Give them raises? Bonuses? If their valuable service defines the company's value, how are they to be treated? How does the leader of a huge company deal both corporately and personally with world economic issues, as it affects the microworld surrounding the local office? How does a Christian leader avoid bias in promoting staff? How do top leaders accept long hours and responsibilities, while yet having a family?

None of that is adequately addressed in "Soul of the Firm."

So much is not being said in this book that I was disappointed. Pollard could've taken another 100 pp and filled it with real direction. Instead, we are given a rehash of the generic "run the company with good old fashioned values" story.

Anthony Trendl


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