Note: While reading a book whenever I come across something interesting, I highlight it on my Kindle. Later I turn those highlights into a blogpost. It is not a complete summary of the book. These are my notes which I intend to go back to later. Let’s start!

  • When conducting business, I was so soft-spoken I made people inch their chairs closer

  • So I started talking up the project. Nothing in Hollywood is anything until it’s something, and the only way to make it something is with a profound display of belief. If you keep insisting that a shifting set of inchoate possibilities is a movie, it eventually becomes one. Sometimes.

  • Flipping the frame to emphasize the positive and to spark Dave’s competitive nature, I said, “If you go to CBS, you’ll have the chance to beat NBC’s pants off.”

  • I remember him pointing to the display of Seagram’s Seven in a store—at eye level, the best position. “Power is all about shelf space,” he’d say. “And to get shelf space, you’ve got to be big.”

  • I was also impressed by an Errol Flynn western where he drew a line in the dirt during a mutiny and said, “You’re either with me or against me.” That formulation—you’re totally in or totally out—became my mantra

  • After I won that election, my father told me, “If you want to be treated like a king, you have to act like one.”

  • I had a strong résumé, but Herb’s referral really helped. That was my first lesson in the business: who you know matters

  • CAA had four commandments:

    • Never lie to your clients or colleagues.
    • Return every call by end of day (or at least have your assistant buy you a day’s grace).
    • Follow up and don’t leave people guessing. Every desk phone at CAA bore the message COMMUNICATE. After our Fred Specktor heard me use that word in every speech I gave, he stuck the plaques on Ron’s phone and mine—and when we admired them, he stuck them on everyone’s phone. It was our version of IBM’s famous imperative to THINK.
    • Never bad-mouth the competition

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