Chapter 4. Compete by Using All You Know: Basics Are Blazing at Smith & Wesson

WHEN THE RECRUITER CALLED THAT WINTER OF 2004, MICHAEL GOLDEN WAS CONTENTEDLY PRESIDING OVER THE KOHLER COMPANY’S CABINETRY DIVISION. NOT LOOKING FOR A NEW POST, HE THOUGHT THE CALL WAS A WASTE OF TIME. BUT WHEN HE LEARNED THAT THE WHOLE BOARD OF AN UNNAMED PUBLIC COMPANY WAS WAITING TO INTERVIEW HIM, HE COULDN’T RESIST.

The company, it turned out, was Smith & Wesson (S&W), the 150-year-old firearms manufacturer, and it was in dire straits. Its chairman had been exposed as a convicted felon, federal agents were investigating accounting irregularities, a countrywide boycott had driven down sales, and the stock price had plummeted to $1 a share. The company clearly needed ...

Get Outsmart!: How to Do What Your Competitors Can’t now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.