Running with Purpose
How Brooks Outpaced Goliath Competitors to Lead the Pack
by Jim Weber
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Pub Date 26 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 25 Apr 2022
Discover how Brooks Running Company CEO Jim Weber transformed a failing business into a billion-dollar brand in the ultracompetitive global running market.
This leadership memoir starts with Jim Weber’s seventh-grade dream to run a successful company that delivered something people passionately valued. Fast forward to 2001, Jim Weber became the CEO of Brooks. He was on his way to fulfilling his dream, but he faced strong headwinds. Jim was the struggling brand’s fourth CEO in two years, and the staff betting pool had him lasting four months.
A lifelong competitor, Jim devised a one-page strategy that he believed would not only save the company but would also lay the foundation for Brooks to become a leading brand in the athletic, fitness, and outdoor categories. To succeed, Jim had to get his team to first believe it was possible and then employ the conviction, fortitude, and constancy of purpose to out-execute much larger brands. Brooks’ success was validated when Warren Buffett made it a standalone Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary in 2012.
In the pages of Running with Purpose, you will find:
- The untold David vs. Goliath challenger brand story in which Brooks’s bold strategy and unique brand positioning fueled its move from the back of the pack to lead.
- The key to building a purpose-driven brand that is oriented around customer obsession, building trust, competing with heart, and having fun along the way.
- The six clear leadership lessons Jim has learned along his path and applies at Brooks to help managers at all levels develop into authentic leaders.
- How Berkshire Hathaway’s support and influence provided a tailwind for Brooks’ business and brand to surge.
- A riveting inside look at the ups and downs of Jim’s personal journey, which led to his conviction that life is too short not to enjoy what you do and the people by your side.
Running with Purpose is a highly engaging read with insights, inspirational stories, and tangible takeaways for current and aspiring leaders, entrepreneurs, Berkshire Hathaway enthusiasts, and especially the 150+ million runners worldwide and those in the broader running community who continually invest in themselves and put positive energy into the world.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 7 members
I really enjoyed hearing the leadership style and cultural process of a brand that I personally enjoy. To learn that Brooks has been a brand with consistent integrity is really exciting to read about. The book is very well structured and reads like a lot of successful business memoirs. The discussion of the investment process, Berkshire Hathaway's desires, and other logistical concepts cause the book to bog down into something that reads like an annual report to the board. As a reader, I do not want to be sold on the brand as a commodity as much as I want to learn how to grow safe connection between people and a message. Other than that, I do not have any notes about the book. It was an enjoyable read with a lot of leadership wisdom I will surely share.