The Vice Chairman’s Doctrine by Ian Domowitz Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Ian Domowitz takes readers on a journey to explore a company as a product in the business, non-fiction read “The Vice Chairman’s Doctrine”.


The Synopsis 

There are books about product and companies but no books about a company as a product.

After 19 years in academics and 17 years on Wall Street, Ian Domowitz arrives from orbit around the top of a corporation with a mindset of leadership without authority. Author of over 100 publications, the public company Vice Chairman and CEO offers a no holds-barred treatment of influence and leverage complete with coaching, mantras, and tales of leadership. Change management is a lifestyle. Transformation is a calling card and his product is the company itself.

Wrapped inside a series of vignettes, some humorous, some elevating, research and stories show how process and culture converge as competitive advantage. Company priorities of innovation, branding, and culture are refashioned through unorthodox lenses focusing action through design thinking and transformation within a social system. Domowitz blurs lines between self-reflection, philosophy, and management science and makes insightful excursions into the trees and branches of corporate life and decision making.

The Vice Chairman’s Doctrine is a transformative tale of leadership without authority, a perspective suiting a new breed of entrepreneurs and corporate warriors who reject control, live in a world of influencers and aspire to become one. 

The Review

What a unique and inspired new direction for non-fiction, business-driven books. The author does a great job of creating a new direction for business-led storytelling, opting for personal and transformative stories and experiences rather than cold hard numbers and figures. The concept of creating a company as you would a product is such a fresh and interesting concept. 

The balance of research and development mixed with the author’s unique wit and charm is what really sold this narrative. The concept that people in a company will follow those for whom they perceive to be a leader rather than who they are told is the boss is such a unique concept. It adds to the idea in business that a sense of community and partnerships is essential to the continued success of any company. This and so many other lessons await in this well-written and fascinating read.

The Verdict

A masterful, thought-provoking and engaging non-fiction read, author Ian Domowitz’s “The Vice Chairman’s Doctrine” is a must-read business book. A brilliant deep-dive into business growth and the balance of leadership and power, the author’s unique writing style, hopping back and forth between the voice of The Vice Chairman and the author himself, added humor and wit into the business-led book, creating a tone that could benefit readers of all backgrounds. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Change is a Lifestyle

The Vice Chairman lives to play the game.

At first, there were physical games.  Wrestling, tennis, swim meets, and billiards were interspersed with more cerebral pursuits like chess.  Music became a game of invention and discipline with time-outs in the gymnasium of mathematics.  A term in national security promoted contests of strategy. Exploration and exploitation found expression in the game of ideas. In the ivory tower, the litmus test for success was influence, a battle of credibility.  Moving into a corporate environment, influence became the key to the game of leverage.  

A good manager knows the Great Game is not about control.  It is all about leverage.  

I recently retired as Vice Chairman of Investment Technology Group [NYSE: ITG] and CEO of ITG Solutions Network Inc., a leading trading analytics and workflow subsidiary. During nineteen years in academics and seventeen years on Wall Street, I published more than 100 journal articles, chapters in books, and magazine articles.  

It’s time for another career as an independent writer of books and stories on business, leadership, and technology.  I still have a few things to say. 

My working experience spans Northwestern University, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Pennsylvania State University. I have had the privilege of testifying in front of Congress, Senate, federal regulatory bodies, and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

It wasn’t always that way 

Career choices followed after a few years spent as a chef in restaurants and institutional kitchens, followed by a stint with one of those three-letter agencies, and then some time as a tractor-trailer truck driver.  Driving trucks subsidized a career initiative in rock music.  Just didn’t have the ear.  I reluctantly went to college and moved on.

That was then, this is now

I currently serve on the Board of Directors of McKinley Capital Management and am a Fellow of the Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets at Columbia University.


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