In this revelatory memoir, the former CEO of Sonic challenges established thinking, offering counterintuitive career advice essential for every professional at all levels, whether you're just starting out or in the middle of your career.
In his bestselling Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell introduced readers to the 10,000-hour rule—the foundation of success in any endeavor. But as Clifford Hudson reveals, there are serious pitfalls to this rule. What happens to those who spend years trying to achieve something that doesn’t quite pan out? Do you really have to grind down the same path for many years, sacrificing priorities to become successful?
In Master of None, Hudson turns expertise on its head and shows that by embracing variety and becoming more versatile, anyone can succeed and become more open to different opportunities in life. To do so, he provides three basic rules that will see any professional through:
- Don't plan, explore
- Don't specialize, generalize
- Don't keep your head down, turn it up toward opportunity
In this thought-provoking memoir, Hudson asks whether or not mastery is even necessary to succeed. Most people don't need to be experts in their field. Yes, the successful know more than the average person about a particular topic, and they often possess a better-than-average ability with a particular skillset; but not everyone who is successful is an expert, he makes clear.
More importantly, in today’s technology-driven environment, change is the only constant, including the nature of work and the skills required to do it. Over-investing in expertise is often riskier than learning to be adaptive and open to new knowledge, ideas, and skills. Experience can also lead to overconfidence. And yet we continue to deeply value the expertise ideal.
Groundbreaking and thought provoking, Master of None is a new way forward to help businesses and professionals at all levels thrive.
About the Author
Cliff Hudson is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Oklahoma City-based Sonic Corp. He also served as a trustee of the Ford Foundation and is a past chairman of the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“[A] boundlessly entertaining memoir. . . . Hudson’s book is so enjoyable that readers may not at first realize the trove of valuable advice it contains.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Master of None teaches real-world leadership, reminding us to ask: What if it’s not all about you? Reading this book changed my work life the very next day.”
— Jeff Goodby, founder of Goodby Silverstein & Partners
“This book is mistitled! Cliff Hudson was the master of all—as general counsel, then COO, then CEO and chairman of the board at Sonic—and was largely responsible for the growth of Sonic Drive-Ins. And he’s a pretty darn good rock and roll musician, too!”
— Bill Fromm, founder of Barkley and author of The Ten Commandments of Business and How to Break Them
“Master of None contains the valuable insights, principles, and practices of a world-class leader. With twenty-plus years of association with Cliff, I can unequivocally say that these lessons were consistently used to great result. They will be of inestimable value—in work and life—to anyone who reads this book.”
— Robert Rosenberg, former CEO of Dunkin’ Donuts for thirty-five years and author of Around the Corner to Around the World
“There are many great life lessons in Master of None, including the need to get comfortable with unpredictability and embrace adaptability in order to thrive in life and work. Cliff’s prescription for saying yes to change will open new doors for any reader.”
— Lauren Hobart, president of DICK’S Sporting Goods