Ken Iverson, the Chairman of Nucor Corporation, says many things you wouldn't expect to hear from a Fortune 500 executive. But then, few top executives are such fervent champions of the front-line worker.
Now, in his long-awaited book, this visionary maverick shares valuable lessons about what it takes to build a super-competitive, world-class business. Nucor - a $3.8 billion dynamo of profitable growth - disdains committees, job descriptions, performance appraisals, and everything else bearing the taint of bureaucracy. Iverson believes people should earn according to what they produce. And he relentlessly "destroys hierarchy" to eliminate the trappings that distance managers from employees.
Nucor has never laid off an employee or shut down a facility for lack of work. Instead, the company has followed Iverson's controversial "painsharing" approach. When times get tight, everyone takes paycuts - starting with the executives at the top.
Ken Iverson led Nucor Corporation from near oblivion to its current place as America's third-largest steel company. In the process, he showed a once-faltering U.S. steel industry the road back to global competitiveness. Plain Talk reveals the refreshingly sensible rationale that:
Makes Nucor production employees the best paid workers in the steel business, while giving Nucor the industry's lowest labor costs.
Lets Nucor operate a $3.8 billion corporation with a headquarters staff of just twenty-two people (including clerical help) and just four layers of management, from the CEO to the front-line worker
Makes Nucor a runaway leader in innovation with no R&D department and no corporate engineering group
Plain Talk is peppered with anecdotes from throughout Iverson's storied career. He recounts days of gloom and glory alike with the same wry humor and the same unshakable appreciation for adventure.
Plain Talk is unlike any business book you've ever read. No pat leadership formulas. No intricate management models. Just a legendary business maverick, speaking straight to you.