maverick by ricardo semler

My husband has a very unconventional style to manage his workplace and associates for which he is, always severely criticized by other. There is no dress code, no attendance register, no late penalty, some works from home and love to share a part of his profit with his employees. While everyone tries to keep maximum power in hand, he believes in decentralization.  Even, I asked for reasons for his bizarre style of workforce management. He said nothing just handed me this Maverick  by Ricardo Semler.

Ricardo Semler was just 19 years old when he joined his father’s company SEMCO which was then a struggling shipbuilding industry. From there he took over to revive the fortunes of the company and diversified it into various industries. As of 2003, Semco had annual revenue of $212 million, from $4 million in 1982 and $35 million in 1994, with an annual growth rate of up to 40 per cent a year. It employed 3,000 workers in 2003, as opposed to 90 in 1982.

Semler has a very unusual style of management which many don’t find familiar. He has turned the pyramid upside down letting maximum power and decision making to flow from down to up instead of top management to decide about the others. Key features of his management policy are

  • Transparency.¬† Share all information and eliminate secrets.
  • Bosses are evaluated by their subordinates and the results are posted.
  • Salaries information are public and employee set their own salary.
  • Share the profit and employee decides themselves how to share it.
  • Job rotation

These are just few to mention. Maverick is a memoir of Ricardo Semler about his company. He has removed all orthodox and retarding rules and regulation and made his company so employee friendly that people don’t leave SEMCO and there is a long waiting list of candidates who want to join SEMCO.

My husband is greatly inspired by Ricardo style and believes in making his employee feel it as their own company. Employee are the sole of the company but sadly they are most ignored and often exploited as well. The book is a mainly about the transformation of his organizational structure which gave exceptional results and even during the time of crisis the company manged to survive due to joint effort of all the working force. It is about spreading the power instead of concentrating in one hand.

His company has suffered from many ups and down which anyother company goes through like labor unrest, strike, attrition, recession etc but he let his company workforce to find the solution in the most democratic way. Letting go of control is the most difficult thing to do in life, but it is necessary if one wants to “empower” other people. There is nothing more important to people than a feeling of being respected and valued.

The Verdict:

Maverick is a very inspiring book which should be read to challenge your current thinking and to read about a more democratic work environment and making your company a better place to work. It is a great management book to read especially one who are leading a company or will in the near future.

It really takes a lot of guts and confidence in yourselfto mange your company in Ricardo style rather a democratic style.

His next book Seven Day Weekend gives details about all the management changes he brought about in his company.

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Ritu Mantri

Ritu is an avid book reader. She also reviews books and have reviewed around 200+ books till date. Her target is to finish 1000 books.