Jerry Perenchio is one of the savviest managers I’ve ever seen. He is a multi-billionaire through a long career ranging from a sports-event promoter (remember the Billy Jean King-Bobby Riggs tennis match in the 1970’s) to his brilliant acquisition and sale of Univision.
I particularly respect his low-key public persona. You’ll never see him give an interview. He’s brutally tough of his managers, but if they perform – their careers are limitless.
Here are his rules of the road, which should be required reading for anyone in management.
- Stay clear of the press. No interviews, no panels, no speeches, no comments. Stay out of the spotlight — it fades your suit.
- No nepotism, no hiring of friends.
- Never rehire anyone.
- Hire people smarter and better than you. Delegate responsibilities to them. Doing so will make your job easier.
- You’ve got to know your territory. Cold!
- Do your homework. Be prepared.
- Take options, never give them.
- Rely on your instincts and common sense. If you go against them you generally regret it.
- No surprises. We don’t give them. We don’t want to get them.
- Never lose sight of what business you’re in. Stick to your “last.”
- When you suit up each day it’s to play in Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium. Think big.
- If you have a problem, don’t delay. Face up to it immediately and solve it.
- Loose lips sink ships!
- Supreme self-confidence, never arrogance.
- A true leader is accessible — no job too big, no job too small.
- Communication is our business. You can reach any of your associates anytime, anywhere, anyplace.
- If you make a mistake, admit it. Just don’t make too many.
- Don’t be a “customer’s person” (man or woman).
- Always, always take the high road. Be tough but fair and never lose your sense of humor.