Growing up in England in the late 70s/early 80s, I never heard about Phil Knight. However, what I did notice as a fresh faced 10 year old was these sneakers and cleats with swooshes that became more and more popular each year. By the time I was 15 they were ubiquitous. A decade later and you’d have to have been a hermit living under several rocks to have not heard about “Nike”.

In “Shoe Dog”, Phil’s outstanding autobiography. This is the story of a maverick entrepreneur for sure. It’s also a book filled to the brim with simple and actionable business advice.

Here’s some of my major takeaways:

  1. Be authentic, be honest. Phil’s each to success was refreshingly messy with many failure along the way. Phil was ok being himself, and as an introvert used that to his advantage. He didn’t pretend to be someone he wasn’t, and this really comes across in “Shoe Dog”.
  2. Take CALCULATED risks. Sure Phil was a risk taker, but he didn’t throw caution to the wind. He strategically grew his companies, even though a lot of his decisions didn’t pan out in the short term.
  3. Surround yourself with the best people you can find. Although Knight’s first few employees were a diverse group to say the least, they shared similar values and many of them would have gone to the end.

I don’t think that Phil Knight really has an underlying message for the world in “Shoe Dog”. Maybe it’s the redemptive power of running, or . As business owners, we can learn learn the myriad lessons in . The lesson I took was to take massive action and follow up