Integrity – The Matheny Manifesto and The Big Short

I recently finished two books:

The Matheny Manifesto by, Mike Matheny with Jerry B. Jenkins

This book was a great read for all sports parents and anyone who wants a lesson on leadership and what it takes to win the small battles everyday. Mike’s biography was about his child hood, to college, minor, and eventual major league career, how he struggled and the things he really valued in life. The things he tries to instill in himself, young and professional players, and his family are all built on integrity, strength, the bigger picture, and what a good leader focus’s on.

Most of the book is about how youth sports is for the kids, that their development is the most important thing. Being able to play the game the right and respectable way. Parents need not to be involved in the games, let the coach, coach, “The Coach is always right”, and that the umpires will often be wrong but it is important to remember that they are volunteers are important concepts for any youth league parent to understand.

Mike touches on the concept of Servant Leadership and how it is a dichotomy, “Which are you a servant or a leader.” To Mike, the best leaders serve those underneath them and encourage them to excel, they hold their values true to them, they work hard and keep their goals in eyesight, and above all, do it all with integrity. “Nothing worth doing is easy.”

I would recommend this book to a sports parent, anyone interested in learning leadership qualities, and those, like myself who are huge fans of baseball, and Mike Matheny, who are interested in how Mike became the youngest Manager in baseball and how he did it and continues to coach with integrity and continued success despite preaching a team first mentallity.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine – by, Michael Lewis

The common theme I found between these two books was the concept of integrity, and while the previous book I reviewed was about how to have it, hold it, and instill it in young men and women at a young age, these book was about the lack-there-of in business leadership positions.

The Mortgage Backed Security System was a great concept at first. These are loans that are made to people to buy a house that are backed by the value of the actual house, thus if the loan were not to be paid, the house would be taken by the bank. In theory, this worked until they started giving out Subprime MBS’s to people who obviously could not pay back these loans. They started doing this because it wasn’t so much the housing market that was bringing in all the value but rather the market for Collateralized Debt Obligations or Collateralized Mortgage Obligations  (A bunch of MBS’s and other debts grouped together and sold to another bank at a premium). This wasn’t scene as a problem because the housing market was seen as strong back then and the theory of “Who doesn’t pay their mortgage.” Once a few investors realized that the CDO/CMO and MBS market was bigger than the housing market by near 20x because of people lacking integrity and giving all these subprime MBS’s a AAA rating (the highest rating = the most like to get paid off and being able to sell these at higher prices to other banks who would buy them). There was even a system created called Synthetic CDO’s that were being sold from bank to bank to bank to bank with low risk because the Synthetic CDO’s were considered “Diversified” and sure pay off, but little did they know that these AAA rated Synthetic CDO’s were soon to Default.

A few smart groups of people shorted the housing market and made money but regretfully, they just benefitted from the stupidity and lack of integrity of the banks and the system. All of this lead to the housing market crash of 2008.

My Next books:

  • Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow – by, Yuval Noah Harari
  • The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine will Remake Our World – by, Pedro Domingos

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