Donny Deutsch: Often Wrong, Never in Doubt


I’m trying to burn through my stack of library books and wanted to recommend one of my latest reads called Often Wrong, Never in Doubt: Unleash the Business Rebel Within by Donny Deutsch.  Every time I go to the library I always bee-line to the Computer Science section first, quickly followed by Business (just like my pursuit of education, both in those fields).  I don’t think there are a lot of new concepts in the book but the inside and back cover do a great job summarizing the key areas which I’ve included below.

Inside Cover

It’s not a question. It is a philosophy to live by. It’s Donny Deutsch’s motto. And it is the secret possessed by every person with the right stuff—the one-in-a-hundred who gets to the top of their team, their company, their business, their industry.

If there is an assignment or a promotion up for grabs, a client or account looking for new answers, do you know how to go for it? Donny Deutsch built a billion-dollar media business asking himself the basic question, “Why Not Me?” Once the reader asks—and answers—that question, a world of opportunity opens up. It is a tool to motivate people, build a business, and create a business culture.

Often Wrong, Never in Doubt is an inspirational book from one of America’s most colorful and exciting entrepreneurs. It’s Donny’s story. In a fun conversation with the reader, Donny lays out the core principles that propelled him to create tremendous wealth, build a huge and influential business, and become a national personality. Using inside stories of the media, the advertising industry, and a youth spent growing up on the streets of New York, Donny gives the commonsense bottom line that he has learned along the way, broken down into real, relevant, and inspiring lessons that will be useful to everyone from the front-line salesperson to the middle manager to the successful corporate executive. (It’s also a useful guide for dating.)

Back Cover

SUCCESS: The key to success is not purely who’s the smartest, who’s the best, but also who can say with conviction, “I deserve it.”  The entire concept is wrapped up in one phrase: Why not me?  You can’t just say it, you’ve got to own it.

BEING A LEADER: The equation for successful advancement is entitlement plus self-branding.

HIRING: The real G-spot for turbo-creativity is the man or woman who hasn’t really accomplished breakthrough work yet.  They are just almost there.  There’s an extra level of anger, an extra level of passion, an extra level of need – they want their work to be that much better because they are on the line.

FIRING: A good firing can be one of the most motivational, uplifting tools around.  The weakest link is eliminated, quality work is rewarded, and the survivors feel better about themselves.  It’s a perp walk and sometimes you just need to do it.

MANAGING PEOPLE: To run a good crew you need to put your ego aside for a moment and concentrate on a person other than yourself.  If your people feel their win means something to you – that you get actual joy from it – they will walk through fire for you.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING IN SHAPE:  It’s nice to know that you can kick the ass of anyone at the table.  What more do you need to know?  That image of yourself extends to all areas of your professional and personal life.  Physical well-being says you are disciplined, you are a winner.

HIS PERSONALITY: It’s a constant.  Throughout my life I’ve always had people who don’t know me say, from a distance, “I don’t really like that guy.”  How do I know?  Because sooner or later they meet me and tell me.  I’d be more concerned if the people who did know me though I was a schmuck.

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