…Is A Scrapyard Operator In Wisconsin.
A long State Road 35 on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River, there’s a junkyard filled with old boats, cars and refrigerators, where 20,000 pounds of aluminum gets melted down every day. A handwritten sign tacked onto the front door reminds all those who enter: Put Shirts On. Inside sits Bill Holst, the 69-year-old blue-jeaned, third-generation corn farmer who started this scrap-metal business 12 years ago. “I see value in things that other people don’t see value in,” he says. “I’m more of a risk-taker.”
All of which explains one of Holst’s more exotic businesses: Hangzhou Qiandaohu Xunlong Sci-Tech, a sprawling sturgeon farm and caviar-processing company based 7,000 miles away at a man-made lake in eastern China. Hangzhou is now the largest caviar company in the world: It controls 30% of the global market and will bring in an estimated $35 million in revenue this year. That scale, combined with low labor costs and high retail prices—an ounce can cost upwards of $150—gives the company an estimated 25% profit margin. Holst owns about 24% of the joint venture and is its single largest (and only American) investor.
More at Forbes.com
5. Turn The Ship Around by L. David Marquet
“Turn the Ship Around isn’t a typical business book. It’s not about business at all, but it offers a fundamentally critical lesson for all leaders and managers. The key premise is that when people come to you for permission to do something, they rarely consider all the outcomes and rarely take on full accountability. The author, an experienced Navy officer, took commission and control of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, and overhauled the performance of the crew–leading them from last place in the fleet to first place. Instead of having his crew ask permission and seek orders, he told them to come to him with intent. Instead of ‘Captain, may I turn the ship starboard 10 degrees?,’ he wanted people to come to him and say ‘Captain, I’m going to turn the ship starboard 10 degrees.’ The difference seems minor, but the effect is enormous. ‘May I’ puts the responsibility on the manager or leader. ‘I’m going to’ puts the responsibility on the person taking action. By stating intent, that person must live with the consequences of their action and will think more completely about the action and its consequences. This small change turns followers into leaders, and as I’ve seen in my own company, works incredibly well in business.”
–Ross Kimbarovsky, founder and CEO of crowdSPRING, one of the world’s leading marketplaces for crowdsourced logo design, web design, graphic design, product design, and company naming services
More at Inc.com