By ANGIE FENTON
The first book Bill Lamb ever wrote was a romance novel titled, “Once Upon A Lifetime.”
“No one has ever read it,” he said, “but it accomplished a goal.”
Beginning when he was in high school, Lamb’s goal was to write a book. “And that I did; I wrote the book. It was not good, but I didn’t need anyone else’s approval. I didn’t need them to say it was good or bad. I’ve never let another soul read it. It was just to accomplish a goal. … Then my next goal was to write a good book.”
The WDRB and WMYO-TV president and general manager has done just that with “Money Follows Excellence,” a book filled with advice, lessons and stories that point toward a fundamental principle: “Good things come as a result of putting excellence first.”
Lamb, who initially got involved in broadcasting when he was in high school in 1972, began taking notes about the lessons he learned from others and his own theories about life and success, detailing what worked and what didn’t. “Through those years, I had a lot of really good mentors. … The only way you can repay your mentors for the investment they’ve made in you is by doing it for someone else. … This (book) is one of my attempts to repay my mentors.”
At first glance, “Money Follows Excellence” appears to be geared solely toward the business community. Don’t be fooled. Peruse the table of contents and you’ll see chapter titles applicable to many aspects of life: “No Excuses,” “Accept Responsibility,” “Practice Creativity,” “Make Room for Mistakes,” “Carve Out Time to Think.”
“Obviously, what I would love is for CEOs, people who run businesses, divisions or major departments, I’d like them to look at this and say I find some great value here … but I think almost anyone can benefit from this,” Lamb said. “I wrote this thinking it would be for people who run companies. After rereading it, I also believe that for young people who are trying to figure out ways to that they can bring more value to their companies, I think there are a lot of principles for younger people.”
Instead of perpetuating popular ideals like “work smarter not harder,” Lamb is matter-of-fact about the importance of putting in the work and, sometimes, the extra hours. “You can’t pay the price of success after success,” he said. “The price of success has to be paid in advance.”
It helps that Lamb speaks throughout the book in a straight-forward, accessible tone and while he’s quick to point out that he hasn’t invented a new way to conduct business, his book often reads otherwise. In short, it’s insightful, inspiring and entertaining.
In one section, Lamb touts the value of “delivering stunning customer service,” but then follows that with a chapter titled, “Don’t Listen Too Closely To Your Customers.” This writer doesn’t want to spoil the subject matter for those inclined to pick up the book, but it’s a definite must-read conclusion to Lamb’s book that ends, “If you play it strictly by the book, as long as the company has a copy of the book, they don’t really need you. Stick your neck out once in a while when your gut tells you you’re right. It’s called leadership.”
Contact writer Angie Fenton at firstname.lastname@example.org.