September 09, 1996 12:00 PM

by Alan C. Greenberg

Want to get ahead in business? Alan “Ace” Greenberg, who has enjoyed plenty of success as chairman of the brokerage firm Bear Stearns & Co., believes it comes down to paper clips, phone manners and the right attitude, pretty much in that order. No free-spending Wall Street titan he, Greenberg hoards paper clips that come with his mail instead of buying new ones. He instructs his employees to be just as thrifty in more than a few memos collected here. His other obsessions include having the company phones answered promptly and politely, and hiring from within whenever possible. The main qualification for a job at Bear Stearns is not an MBA but what Greenberg calls a PSD (Poor, Smart and Deeply desirous of getting rich).

Greenberg’s memos have a jokey tone but a completely serious intent: to get his people to see the world as he does. Keeping expenses down is the key to profitability in the Greenberg cosmos. And he warns, “Thou will do well in commerce as long as thou does not believe thine own odor is perfume.” It’s a simple message but a wise one, helping to make this amusing minimanagement manual come up aces. (Workman, $14.95)

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