Right Away and All At Once

Five Steps to Transform Your Business and Enrich Your Life

The book review for this week is Right Away and All at Once by Greg Brenneman.

Brenneman is a highly respected and experienced CEO who has led the turnarounds of many large corporations like Continental Airlines, Home Depot and Burger King (see this past post for more details). He provides some amazing business and personal insights in this book as well as revealing the foundation for his successful business philosophy.

My takeaway from this book is;

  1. All organizations must be run like a business. This includes not-for-profits which should never run a deficit!
  2. Brenneman’s five steps to turnaround and grow a business outlined below:

Step 1 – Have a plan and track your progress: What actions must you take to fundamentally improve your business. Identify 3 to 5 of the most important and impactful actions and communicate these to your organization. Then, relentlessly track your progress against these goals until they are realized.

Step 2 – Build a fortress balance sheet: Make sure your business has a long enough runway to execute on the goals identified in step 1. This means that you need enough cash to follow through on your plan. Too much debt or improperly time debt maturity can sink your plan and your business.

Step 3 – Think money in, not money out: Don’t just grow your business . . . Profitably grow your business. This optimizes returns for shareholders and increases opportunities for workers.

Step 4 – Build a team (clean house if necessary): Build a company from the top down that can execute your plan. This starts with you, the board of directors and all levels of leadership. If someone is not on board with the vision and won’t come on board, remove them from the organization and bring on staff that are in alignment with the vision and have the proper skill set, energy, passion and attitude.

Step 5 – Let the inmates run the asylum: Empower, motivate and encourage your co-workers to make decisions consistent with your plan.


Note that I have previously reviewed:

  1. Rory Vaden’s Procrastinate on Purpose.
  2. Bill Browder’s Red Notice
  3. Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto
  4. Brad Lomenick H3 Leadership
  5. Eula Bliss’ On Immunity: An Inoculation
  6. Adam Grant’s Give and Take 
  7. Paul Leinward’s and Cesare R. Mainardi’s Strategy That Works
  8. John Nemo’s LinkedIn Riches
  9. Dr. Henry Cloud’s The Power of the Other
  10. T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
  11. Steve Case’s The Third Wave
  12. Thomas F Crum’s The Magic of Conflict
  13. Cal Newport’s Deep Work




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