THE LEAN CEO: Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence, by Jacob Stoller, McGraw Hill, 2016

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A book review by Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of

I wish I had read this excellent book,  “The LEAN CEO” by Jacob Stoller, when I was looking for and acquired over 20 medium size manufacturing companies, it would have made our efforts easier.

Way back in the 1970’s and 1980’s I was involved in acquiring manufacturing companies. I observed that many, well over 50% of the, companies we looked at were poorly performing. On further look we concluded that it was due to bad management. Never mind about the concept of Lean management, it did not exist, the mentality and approach was totally to the contrary. It reminded me of what we say about an augmented government and related costs.

In 1978 I decided to step out and start a corporation that would acquire underperforming manufacturing companies and make them profitable by streamlining (Lean) management and systems, bring on board relevant technology, train our employees in the plants and /or the near by community colleges, and so on.

This was a very hard work in part because there were no books or even articles relating to Lean Leadership / Management to get some people’s experience. But we moved on to success. JPIndustries, Inc., the holding corporation traded in the New York Stock Exchange and in ten years it became a Fortune 500 industrial group.

This book should be read by all CEO’s so that they can understand the value and necessity of such attitude and management style. The CEO should communicate this concept to all employees in the company so that would adopt it rather than resist it.

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