Now in his mid-nineties, Morton L. Mandel has written (with John A. Byrne) a combination memoir and tutorial for aspiring entrepreneurs. Mandel, a man who typifies the American “from rags to riches” narrative, emphasizes the qualities he considers essential to becoming the kind of person he would consider to be “an A player.” They are: “Intellectual Firepower; Values; Passion; Work Ethic and Experience.
By means of a series of case studies, anecdotes and personal reminiscences, Mandel then shares with the reader how he built a billion dollar empire and achieved prominence in the U.S. and Israel as a philanthropist. Along the way, he meets colleagues, competitors and consultants and relates some of the lessons he learned from each. Undoubtedly the most important among them was Peter Drucker, the famed management “guru” who was a New York University professor at the time. Their relationship blossomed to the point that the book contains an entire chapter titled “What I learned from Peter Drucker.” The book is a quick and easy read and contains much good advice for anyone who wants to get ahead in today’s world. Appendix.
Peter L. Rothholz headed his own Manhattan-based public relations agency and taught at the Business and Liberal Arts (BALA) program at Queens College. He lives in East Hampton, NY and Santa Monica, CA and is a frequent contributor to Jewish publications.