Journal Entry 

 Place Nice But Win 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

In an earlier newsletter, I wrote about the value people can get from reading. Like many people in prison today, while I served my sentence I didn’t always have access to classroom space or learning resources. But I could always read, and I could learn from reading about successful people. When I finished reading a book, I’d write a book report, in three parts. 

Recently, I read about Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Computer. His biography is called “Play Nice But Win: A CEO’s Journey from Founder to Leader” by Michael Dell. Follow the three-part book report to see if you can learn from his story.

Part 1: Why did I choose to read Play Nice But Win?

I chose to read “Play Nice But Win” because I have always been fascinated by the stories of business leaders who built their companies from the ground up. Michael Dell’s journey, from starting Dell Technologies in his college dorm room to becoming a global tech giant, is particularly inspiring. Given my circumstances, I wanted to understand the mindset, strategies, and leadership qualities that enabled him to achieve such remarkable success. Additionally, I was interested in learning how Dell navigated the challenges and opportunities in the technology industry, hoping to draw parallels that could inform my own journey post-incarceration.

Part 2. What did I learn from reading Play Nice But Win?

Michael Dell’s biography provided several valuable lessons:

Lesson 1: Resilience and Adaptability

Dell’s ability to pivot and adapt to changing market conditions and technological advancements was a recurring theme. His decision to privatize Dell Technologies in 2013 to restructure the company away from public market pressures is a testament to his strategic thinking and resilience.

Lesson 2: Direct-to-Consumer Model

Dell’s innovative approach of selling directly to consumers allowed for customization and cost efficiency, setting his company apart from competitors. This model underscored the importance of understanding and meeting customer needs.

Lesson 3: Leadership and Team Building

Dell’s evolution as a leader, from a hands-on founder to a CEO who empowers his team, highlighted the significance of strong leadership and the ability to delegate effectively. He emphasized building a culture of collaboration and ethical leadership.

Lesson 4: Philanthropy and Giving Back

The book also shed light on the importance of philanthropy and social responsibility. Dell’s commitment to giving back through the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation reinforced the idea that success should be shared and used to make a positive impact on society.

Part 3. How will Play Nice But Win influence my prospects for future success?

“Play Nice But Win” profoundly influenced my outlook on success:

Strategic Planning:

Dell’s story has reinforced the importance of having a clear vision and strategic plan. As I continue working to build my life and career, I focus on setting achievable goals and being adaptable to change.

Customer-Centric Approach: 

The direct-to-consumer model inspired me to always consider the needs and preferences of my target audience in any venture I undertake. Understanding and meeting these needs helps me build confidence that I can take on new projects that will have an impact on the world.

Leadership Development: 

Developing strong leadership skills and fostering a collaborative environment will be crucial in any team or project I lead. I continuously strive to develop leadership skills that will empower and inspire others, leading with integrity.

Giving Back: 

Inspired by Dell’s philanthropic efforts, I am motivated to continue contributing to society, particularly by supporting others in prison and helping them prepare for successful reentry. Sharing knowledge and resources can create a ripple effect of positive change.

In conclusion, “Play Nice But Win” has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and practical insights that will be instrumental in my journey towards personal and professional success. By applying these lessons, I am confident that I can overcome challenges and make a meaningful contribution to society.

If you get a chance to read Play Nice But Win, I encourage you to share what you’ve learned.

Today’s Question:

  • In what ways will the most recent book you’ve read advance prospects for your future success?

Steps to Build Your Profile:

1. Send an invite to [email protected]

2. Once accepted, send an email to the interns with the following information:

   – Your name

   – Your number

   – Your location

   – Your sentence length

3. Respond to any questions presented in the newsletter by sending your answers to the email above.

By taking these steps, you can memorialize your journey and demonstrate your commitment to a better future.

Keep striving for greatness. Your efforts today will pave the way for your success tomorrow.

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