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It is common for authors of book introductions to say that they've known and admired the book's author for years. Not so here: until recently I didn't know Hugh Aaron from a Maine hole in the ground. I met him a year or so ago in the pages of The Wall Street Journal; the admiration dates from that introduction.
You see, I'm a business information junkie. I devour whatever I can, convinced as many of us are, that much of what we've been doing in business has been wrong-headed and needs to be jettisoned. In Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Business Week, Fortune, Business Horizons, books by the dozens by-you-know-who(m), and, of course, The Wall Street Journal. Enter Hugh Aaron.
I read one of Hugh's Wall Street Journal essays about his CEO experiences and was taken by its honesty, decency, logic and practicality. So into the permanent file, not recognizing the author's name, or even - I'm now embarrassed to admit - remembering it. About the fourth time this happened, I asked my secretary to get his address so that I could thank him for his unique contributions to the crowded business literature. Now you know.
Now, too, you have the opportunity to see why the prestigious Wall Street Journal has given so much space to Hugh Aaron's essays (9 as of this writing) and why so many strangers send him mash notes.
Here's just some of what you'll find in this book. First and foremost, the thoughtful observations and experiences of a CEO who faced, successfully, virtually all of the vicissitudes, challenges, frustrations and satisfactions of any business, of any size, in any business category. And with apologies to my friends in the academic world, here is the real blood, guts and giggles of running a business. This book, for example, strongly makes the point - regrettably underemphasized by some academics - that people really are the very essence of a business. Really.
More than that, Hugh Aaron used his company much as a scientist uses a laboratory: to test his hypotheses against reality and, by so doing, was willing to challenge his intuitive sense, was willing to discover that his instincts might be wrong. Many such experiments were conducted and much knowledge was gained.
The beauty part of all this: so much of what he learned is generalizable; his life, our gain. Your move.

                                                                                                         GEORGE M. NAIMARK, Ph.D. 

Dr. Naimark, a management consultant, has been a director of seven companies and is president of Naimark & Barba, Inc., Florham Park, NJ. He has written for management, marketing, advertising, scientific and medical journals and has authored two books: COMMUNICATIONS on COMMUNCIATIONS and A PATENT MANUAL FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS.

BNAU is available at

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