Friday, February 15, 2008

Wayne Huizenga - the absolute deal maker

I just finished the audio version of the book – “The Making of a Blockbuster: How Wayne Huizenga Built a Sports and Entertainment Empire from Trash, Grit, and Videotape”. It is the story of Wayne Huizenga – probably the only person in history to have built 3 Fortune 1000 companies from scratch – Waste Management, Blockbuster and AutoNation. He also owns the Miami Dolphins and is the past owner of the Florida Marlins baseball team and the Panthers hockey team.

The book takes us thru Wayne’s journey of building Waste Management from a one-man shop to a mega empire thru tons of acquisitions. It showcases Wayne as a master deal maker. Wayne held fast to two rules: Don't loose a deal because you're not paying attention to it and never talk about it until it is done and in writing". Wayne is the ultimate deal maker, and the book demonstrates how he reached the highest levels of business success through intense hard work, and single minded determination and drive.

It also takes the reader thru Wayne’s intense negotiations with Sumner Redstone of Viacom. His passion was the service business. Blockbuster employees nicknamed him “Toilet Man” since he always used to inspect the bathrooms as he visited stores – if the bathrooms were not clean, it meant lack of attention or care for the customer.

It is a wonderful book that showcases the grit, determination and passion of a deal maker and a true business leader. Wayne is now 70 years old.

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