Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 30, 2005 2:30 PM

Often Wrong, Never In Doubt By Donny Deutsch

Wow, I really zipped through the book Often Wrong, Never In Doubt - Unleash The Business Rebel Within by Donny Deutsch with Peter Knobler. This is a great holiday read.

Donny Deutsch is not just the host of his own TV talk show, The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch, on CNBC, he is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Deutsch Inc., which is an extremely well-known and successful advertising agency that is now a part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG).

Here's the overview of his first book, Often Wrong, Never In Doubt by Donny Deutsch from the HarperCollins Canada website:

"'Why Not Me?'

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)."

I think the overview glosses over the core of what this book is really about.

Often Wrong, Never In Doubt by Donny Deutsch is a story about a guy (Donny) and the fast-paced burn of the advertising world. It's about how an agency can live and thrive or die a painful death unless the people at the top put it out there all of the time.

Whether you like Donny Deutsch or think he's a jerk (there are arguments for both and even Donny presents the case on many occasions throughout Often Wrong, Never In Doubt), Deutsch really hits home with his "why not me?" philosophy. The book rarely comes through with other truly original business thinking (which is fine), but his chapter Why Hatred Is Good - If you don't have a natural enemy, you need to create one - got me thinking in a way I never had before.

"I'm a nice guy, I never want to see anybody else fail, but I do use other people's success to further my own ends. For example, I am hosting a cable TV talk show called The Big Idea on CNBC. Before I became involved in the talk show industry, Larry King and Charlie Rose weren't even on my radar. They had shows. Sometimes I watched. So what?

Now they piss me off. These guys are the definition of the long-form television interview. They are the best at what they do. I don't know Larry King and he doesn't know me, but he has a perch that I want... Now, God bless him, I hear that Larry King is actually a lovely man. But in my mind, for my purposes, he's the enemy."

Donny Deutsch is raw and real and, after reading that chapter in Often Wrong, Never In Doubt, I think all Entrepreneurs have enemies - probably multiple ones. I did not realize that I had a few myself (including Donny!) until I really thought about what drives me and the team at Twist Image.

Often Wrong, Never In Doubt - Unleash The Business Rebel Within by Donny Deutsch with Peter Knobler is a pleasurable and speedy read. Deutsch is an excellent storyteller and even though it's all Business 101, if you like The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch or are involved in the advertising space, Often Wrong, Never In Doubt is well worth the read.

This will probably be the next selection of The Montreal Business Book Club.

By Mitch Joel

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