Scott Walker never planned to write a book. As a dyslexic growing up in the 1950s and 60s before the condition was addressed in the school system, he avoided reading or writing and remembers not studying much, but instead listening and talking to his teachers, memorizing his way through school.
When a co-worker suggested he start a bi-weekly newsletter to ‘tuck in the paychecks’ of all the employees, Scott understood it would be a team effort and as President, he would contribute the occasional newsletter while others from different departments in the company took turns writing newsletters.
By the end of the first year, Scott found he was writing all the newsletters and after almost twenty years of writing, he’s compiled his favorites into this book, a brief look at a company and the people who run it.
What a great read for anyone who has been connected to the machine tool industry over the last 20-40 years. Great insight for what it takes to produce sales in this industry.
Mr. Walker takes us on a journey along the highways, byways, hills and dales of today's competitive industrial marketplace in this delightful collection of "rantings." He gives us a look at the perils of air travel (surrounded by babies in poopy diapers while stuck in a coach seat for a 13 hour flight), faces international cuisine (warty sea squirts), copes with new employees (one would rather climb telephone poles than sell machine tools), discusses philosophy (while helpless in a dentist's chair), and how to handle stress (think wine, not whine), all while leading the life of a darts champion, sailor, certified scuba instructor, oil painting artist and successful vintner...not to mention rising through the ranks to chairman of one of industry's premier machine tool builders. A great read.
I am purchasing one for all my employees. Do I need to say more? You will never find another book that will put more human flesh on the process of selling machine tools. It is a highly human activity as the author chronicles. Most importantly the book is punctuated with great humor throughout. The historical perspective is a bonus.
This a good story about the reality of the corporate world. The experience and lessons in the book transcend industries. Different business units compete for finite resources. Listen to your client; build relationships, find solutions to customer needs. There are challenges at all levels in the corporate structure.
As a person who has worked in the Machine Tool Industry and as a customer, Scott hit the nail on the head. It's a very competitive industry and like Scott states, you have to be strong to survive.
Great and Fun read. Rare stories of highs and lows of a unique individual and company as they progress, maintain and problem solve. Scott loves the adventures described in the book but also says to the President of another machine tool manufacturer that after he retires if he is seen at a machine tool show to please shoot him.
Scott's collection is very well written!
I remember hearing some of these stories around the time they happened, so it was fun to read them as they were reported at the time.
Scott's message, as I read it, is that relationships are the most important element of living. It is clear that they also play an important role in selling. Maybe most valuable when the sale is NOT closed - you'll never make the NEXT sale without having built the relationship!
I knew that the book was in the works, and was very happy to have gotten my copy (SIGNED, no less...) directly from Scott at IMTS 2018! The next best souvenir I ever brought home from Chicago was a Buddy Guy T-shirt.
I read the entries a few at a time, every morning, and felt as if I lived all of the history of those years in about a month!
This is a great book for anyone who's ever wanted an insider's view of how a machine tool company works. Machine tools are the basic building blocks for almost anything that's manufactured. For example, a plastic water bottle - it takes a machine tool to create the mold that will be used to make the bottle. It's a highly competitive, fast paced multi-billion dollar industry. Scott Walker details what it's like to call on, sell and service customers (especially aerospace companies) that are making jet engine parts, landing gear and other sophisticated, difficult and highly accurate parts. If you're interested in metal manufacturing, you should read this book. Also, funny, whimsical at times and with some interesting contemplation about leadership and what it all means.
I frist met Scott in 1996. He can hold court in ANY discussion among pundits within our odd, but VITAL industry!
Based on the descriptions within, I'm beginning to develop an appreciation for better wines.
If he ever decides to distill stronger spirits... I may be in trouble!
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