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  • The People Animators

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE - Phil Knight: book review

The book of the month for July is about dreaming the dream.


‘The Shoe Dog’ is an inspiring autobiography written by Phil Knight, the mastermind behind Nike. This is a very open and refreshing account of the trials and tribulations (and there are plenty) of building a business. The early dream starts in Phil’s senior high school days with his passion for running and sports. After graduation and military service, global travel beckons where he can investigate and be educated by manufacturers, competitors, suppliers, investors. Although holding a Masters in Business degree, he goes in blind, without any experience and learns very quickly and sometimes embarrassingly if you consider the cultures he would deal with.

Everything is shared, warts and all, from the foundation through to what became one of the most iconic consumer brands in the world.

Life lessons from Phil Knight?

1. Be open to doing things differently - your way is not always the right way. Experience, travel, culture can shape you.

2. When you don’t know how, learn from it – never stop learning and ask for help.

3. Understand your strengths – and the strengths of your team members.

4. Things can’t always be perfect – work until they are right and uphold yours and your company values at the same time.

5. All about work life balance – different for everyone, but what is right for you and your business? Why not look at the dream you’ve not thought about for the past decade, go travelling, write that book?

Very personal revelations that you would not know about without reading this autobiography. The storytelling is very good, and I found this a book that was hard to put down. Everyone should read The Shoe Dog, especially those that feel they are alone with business and personal challenges. A few lightbulb moments. Motivating, revealing and inspiring. Highly recommended.


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