The Wisdom of Titans

Secrets of Success from Entrepreneurs Who Rose to the Top

William Ferguson

Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes energy and drive. Less than 20% make it beyond the first three years. Achieving the next level, the status of business titan—the upper echelon of leadership—takes an unrelenting commitment to turn an idea into a plan, a plan into a startup venture, and a venture into a successful business. The chances of getting to the top are slim at best, relying on a particular set of skills and attributes. In The Wisdom of Titans, William Ferguson shares how 10 famous titans, from Bill Marriott to Julia Stewart, made it to the top, for every entrepreneur to learn from and follow. The book describes the challenges of leading service organizations, in particular, where managing and motivating thousands of people can make or break the business. The book provides advice for those just starting out as well as business leaders looking to take their enterprise to the next level.

Print | 978-1-937134-58-7 | $27.95
eBook | 978-1-937134-59-4 | $19.99
Enhanced eBook | 978-1-937134-60-0 | $19.99
6 x 9 hardcover | 256 pages
May 28, 2013

Media Coverage

  • In The Wisdom of Titans, Bill Ferguson brings together a who’s who of entrepreneurs who candidly share lessons learned on their journeys. The book contains important commonalities—passion, focus on the bottom line, growing market share, developing a team—as well as “secret sauce” ingredients unique to each individual. This is a must-read for anyone who is or wants to be a successful entrepreneur.
    Jeffrey Fox, Fox & Company, author of the bestselling The Transformative CEO
  • Ferguson interviewed some of the world’s best-known entrepreneurs in order to instruct a wide audience: entrepreneurs whose businesses have stalled; corporate leaders who want to take a more entrepreneurial approach; budding entrepreneurs; and M.B.A. students….[the] interviewees instruct the reader to have fun at work, be a student of the business, make a mark outside the mainstream, grow the bottom line, mentor others, create value out of a vision, take risks, measure progress, maintain integrity, and leave a legacy…the overall message is strong.
    Publishers Weekly
  • What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? In The Wisdom of Titans, Bill Ferguson goes to the source to answer that question—the top executives and highly successful business builders across industries from hospitality to health care. Their ‘success secrets’ encompass solid business practices as well as those unique traits and qualities that make a difference between good and great. This book is a game-changer for anyone interested in the entrepreneurial journey.
    Thomas Priselac, president and CEO, Cedars-Sinai Health System
  • Driving growth, managing risks, navigating uncertainties, and growing profitability – admittedly, it’s a tall order, but in reality these are merely table stakes for entrepreneurs today. In The Wisdom of Titans, Bill Ferguson engages in insightful and compelling one-on-one conversations with notable entrepreneurs whose experiences reflect the best practices needed for entrepreneurial success today. An engaging and very worthwhile read.
    an MacMillan, Ambani, professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; director, Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, Wharton School of Business
  • Successful entrepreneurs today are those who not only have the next best idea, but who also have the vision, drive, and discipline to execute that plan into reality—while developing a team that will take a startup to the next level and beyond. Those who do it exceptionally well are a rare breed, indeed. With more humility than pride, they muster the courage to take on challenges to build what becomes both scalable and sustainable. In short, they become titans. In The Wisdom of Titans, Bill Ferguson gathers a who’s who of business builders who have built their success over the years and now graciously share what they’ve learned and experienced along the way.
    Kevin Brown, president and CEO, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc.
  • The Wisdom of Titans provides an invaluable inside look at what it takes to build a sustainable and scalable business, drawing from those who have done it. Ferguson's book is a real gift for anyone interested in understanding what it takes to become a truly successful entrepreneur.
    Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr., author of the bestselling From Values to Action; former chairman and CEO, Baxter International; clinical professor of Management and Strategy, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management
  • No matter what industry or niche you’re in, you will find true wisdom from these ‘titans’—those who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in their respective fields. As their stories and examples show, it’s not enough to have a great idea or an executable plan. Entrepreneurs must possess key qualities and attributes, such as passion, drive, vision, integrity, discipline, and the willingness to be both a student of the business and a coach and mentor of others. For anyone who is interested in the entrepreneurial path, this is the essential roadmap.
    Denny Shelton, chairman of the board, LHP Hospital Group Inc.; former chairman & CEO, Triad Hospitals, Inc.