"Pleased But Not Satisfied" by David Sokol

Brian Gongol

David L. Sokol appears to have written "Pleased But Not Satisfied" as an introductory management orientation manual for his subordinates at MidAmerican Energy. Sokol (at the time of writing) was one of Warren Buffett's chief lieutenants, and the advice in the book generally circulated around the themes of (a) fiscal conservatism, (b) management by high standards of accountability, and (c) continuous improvement (reminiscent of kaizen). While not especially groundbreaking or novel in its recommendations, the book certainly beats out many of the puff pieces churned out like so many widgets in the name of "management" by the big publishing houses and contains about half a dozen really worthwhile insights. Overall, it's the business equivalent of picking up a hymnal at church: You're not really looking to discover anything new; it's just comforting to find a recitation of things you already believe.

Verdict: Harmless to good, particularly for reinforcing the kinds of things people should probably already know about management. Easily read and digested in under an hour.