Last, but not least, we would like to celebrate the release of our final Spring 2013 title: The Wisdom of Titans by Bill Ferguson. Bill serves as the Chairman and CEO of Ferguson Partners Ltd. and as the Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of FPL Advisory Group. Here, he discusses the book, his inspiration from successful entrepreneurs, and shares insights for leaders who are looking to take on a “titan” status!
What inspired you to write The Wisdom of Titans?
I have always been fascinated by entrepreneurs, who are a unique breed among business leaders. Entrepreneurs are not only idea people, but also possess the drive and the ability to execute as they turn a vision into reality. The challenge is a considerable one: only about 20 percent of those who start down the entrepreneurial path make it to their destination. Of those, only a rare few—about 1 percent—are able to grow their businesses into large organizations, many of which are global in scope.
I decided to write The Wisdom of Titans to explore the “success secrets” of those who had reached the pinnacle, to find out what was in their “Entrepreneurial DNA.”
What has been your favorite part of the writing and publishing process?
It has been an enjoyable process, start to finish, and I do have great satisfaction now seeing my book in print. My favorite part of the process was interviewing the entrepreneurs for the book. They are a who’s who among business builders today, many of them (or their companies) being household names—people like Bill Marriott and Sam Zell. I thoroughly enjoyed having one-on-one conversations with these leading entrepreneurs and sharing their wisdom and lessons learned with readers.
Were there any unexpected challenges in writing the book?
The process went very smoothly. But as you can imagine, getting time on the calendars of 11 notable business leaders who are running global companies had its challenges! Yet it was most gratifying that they each took the time to speak with me, candidly sharing their experiences and their perspectives, which I think readers will find very valuable.
If you could do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
I would have written this book years ago! But seriously, I think the timing is actually quite good. Given what the world and the business community in particular went through in 2008, a book on entrepreneurship and what it takes to start and sustain a business is quite timely. Innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation among start-ups are all hot topics.
What’s next for you? Career-related goals? More books in your future?
As the CEO of Ferguson Partners I have the privilege of meeting with many global leaders in the service industry, particularly in real estate, hospitality, and financial services. This gives me a real “ear to the ground” on issues affecting the global business community. As these conversations continue, I’d expect there will be another book—or two—in my future.