Working Together | Michael D. Eisner

Summary of: Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed
By: Michael D. Eisner


Embark on a journey through the world of highly successful partnerships in Michael D. Eisner’s book, ‘Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed’. This summary provides insights into the strategies employed and the crucial factors behind these effective collaborations. We examine the partnerships of Frank Wells and Michael Eisner at the Walt Disney Company, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger in Berkshire Hathaway, Bill and Melinda Gates in their philanthropic endeavors, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard in the film industry, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti in fashion, and Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager in club entertainment. Discover the ingredients of these great partnerships: mutual trust, complementary skills, humility, shared values, and deeply rooted respect for one another.

The Power of a Strong Partnership

A successful partnership is rooted in trust and support. Frank Wells and Michael Eisner had an excellent relationship that resulted in great success for the Walt Disney Company. Despite their different roles, they shared their news and frustrations, and Wells was Eisner’s greatest cheerleader. Wells’ humility was also vital to their partnership’s strength. He was always ready to help Eisner succeed, even agreeing to play tennis with Clint Eastwood to secure a deal. Good partnerships thrive when there is no underlying competition, and partners can focus on their shared goals.

Buffett and Munger’s Complementing Friendship

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have shared a strong intellectual bond for years, and Munger is the greatest skeptic to Buffett’s ambitious ideas. Berkshire Hathaway, their company, bases its decisions on Buffett’s reactions to Munger’s criticism. Munger taught Buffett the buy-strong-and-hold strategy, and they complement each other. Munger believes that Buffett is better at what he does than himself and is happy working as number two. Despite Munger’s dominant personality outside the company, there is no competition between them. They are best friends with deep respect for each other and have a lot of fun together.

The Secrets to a Successful Partnership

Bill and Melinda Gates have created a philanthropic foundation that addresses global health and American education problems. This partnership demonstrates that equality and humility are essential in a successful partnership. By reading, working, and discussing issues together, they have strengthened their bond and achieved their ambitions. They prove that regardless of status, equal footing and mutual respect can lead to positive outcomes.

Grazer and Howard: A Partnership beyond Differences

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s partnership is a testament to the fact that successful partners need not always agree but should share the same fundamental principles. Despite being poles apart in terms of their appearance and style of working, Grazer and Howard’s partnership is strengthened by their mutual respect and liking toward each other. They recognized early on that playing different roles is beneficial for their partnership, and Grazer often takes charge of dealing with the harsher sides of Hollywood while protecting Howard. Grazer and Howard’s long history together began when Grazer recognized Howard’s talent beyond his TV show Happy Days. They parted ways to pursue their individual projects but came together to form their production company Imagine Films Entertainment, where they decided to split their earnings equally. This financial equality prevents any tension from arising, and they continue to produce critically acclaimed films, even those they do not work on together. Grazer and Howard’s partnership is a testament to the fact that sometimes the best teams are those that are formed between individuals with different approaches and preferences but share the same ultimate goal.

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