Discover how Brooks Running Company CEO Jim Weber transformed a failing business into a billion-dollar brand in the ultracompetitive global running market.
Running with Purpose is a leadership memoir with insights, inspirational stories, and tangible takeaways for current and aspiring leaders, entrepreneurs, and the 150+ million runners worldwide and those in the broader running community who continually invest in themselves.
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 became the CEO of Brooks and, as the struggling brand's fourth CEO in two years, he faced strong headwinds. 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, he had to get his team to first believe it was possible and then employ the conviction, fortitude, and constancy of purpose to outperform 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:
Brooks’ bold strategy and unique brand positioning that 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 develop staff into authentic leaders.How Berkshire Hathaway's support and influence provided a tailwind for Brooks' business and brand to surge.An 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.
Brooks Running Company CEO Weber exhaustively recounts his career in this paradoxically snail's-pace memoir. Having loved running since his fish-out-of-water, introverted Minnesota childhood, Weber was thrilled to be named president of Brooks Running in 2001 after being on its board, following a career at Pillsbury and Coleman. Through a mix of rebranding and marketing, he took the company from manufacturing a wide variety of sports shoes to doing running-only goods, leading it to an acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway in 2006. Weber hashes out some recent trends in running (such as doing so in barefoot-shoes), how Brooks managed the pandemic, his bout with cancer (and his work toward recovery after it was "out of my body"), and Brooks' DEI efforts. Though the chapters have some prescriptive names ("Becoming an authentic leader"), Weber makes little attempt to distill lessons from his experiences, and his "manifesto" includes such trite and familiar items as "own a niche" and "solve for profitability." The frequent boasts about the company, meanwhile, seem better placed for a corporate pep rally, and the mild story of Weber's life isn't the kind of thing great books are made of. This leadership memoir's too heavy on the memoir and too light on the leadership.