A One-Legged Stool



Book Title: A One-Legged Stool: How Shareholder Primacy Has Broken Business
Author: Ed Chambliss
Publisher: Best Friend Brands
List Price: $12.95 (USD)
Format: Softcover, 260 pages
Publication Date: March 2022      
ISBN: 979-8-9854487-0-2
Reviewer: Angela Thronburg, PMP
Review Date: July 2023



In his debut work, Ed Chambliss shares what he has learned in why with so many choices on how to run a business, the importance of shareowner value overrides other entities’ interests for employees and customers.  Not only does he provide history of how businesses have evolved to how they operate today, he gives six executable steps for business leaders to make change happen to raise all the organization’s stakeholders.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The first six chapters provide an overview of how businesses have evolved and provide many examples of how companies have alienated their customers, community, and employees to maximize profits for shareholders.

Chapter 1: A Loss of Trust – gives modern day examples of how companies have misled customers and employees in the pursuit of value for shareholders.

Chapter 2: Who’s to Blame? – provides context for who exactly is making the decisions and who is setting the expectations for an organization to be deemed successful.

Chapter 3: The 50-year-old Fallacy – describes how investors have become arrogant by threatening to sell stocks of a company as though they have the principal interest.  The fallacy is the investor is a shareholder of the company and not an actual owner.  The misunderstanding of shareholders as similar to owners of the company create a “team production problem” where it becomes difficult to identify contributions to the final outcome.

Chapter 4: The Upside of Progress – author shares examples of exponential change in areas such as clothing, housing, and social connectedness.  With the faster pace of changes, the ability to learn new and determine what to let go of becomes very difficult for all involved.

Chapter 5: The Catastrophe of Efficiency – data heavy chapter on the tradeoff between time and money for an organization attempting to create value.

Chapter 6: Understanding Satisfaction – author walks through how defining the outcome as creating value is greater than current plans to extract the value from an organization.

Chapter 7: Six Steps for Business Leaders – breaks down where business leaders with decision making authority can evaluate their organization and make changes to improve the expectations for their organization for all interested parties.

Chapter 8: Four Roles for All of Us – offers suggestions on how to be an unified interest in an organization as a customer, an investor, an employee, and as a citizen.


This book is a great guide for how to better evaluate the likelihood of change within an organization.  It recognizes the importance of a brand as an organization’s actions and not its public statements.  Someone wanting to implement the steps in this book would need to evaluate their organization for determining what truly Is satisfaction and recognize it goes beyond the organization itself to its community and future customers.


To read entire https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/pmwj133-Sep2023-Thronburg-One-Legged-Stool-book-review-2.pdfBook Review, click here

How to cite this work: Thronburg, A. (2023). A One-Legged Stool: How Shareholder Primacy Has Broken Business, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue IX, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/pmwj133-Sep2023-Thronburg-One-Legged-Stool-book-review-2.pdf

About the Reviewer

Angela Thronburg, PMP

Dallas, TX (USA)


Angela Thronburg, PMP recently became involved with IT Project Management after 20 years in supply chain roles for flooring and chemical companies.  She is a member of the PMI, Dallas Chapter and achieved the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2022. As a recreational mathematician and life-long learner, she enjoys reading a wide range of genres.

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the PM World Journal and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide books to the PM World Journal; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members who agree to provide a review within 45 days; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  After publication, reviewers can claim PDUs for PMP recertification, or continuing education units from other professional bodies.

If you have read a good recently published book related to managing programs, projects or teams of professionals, consider authoring a book review for publication in the PM World Journal.  For our standard format or for more information, contact Editor@pmworldjournal.com or visit https://pmworldlibrary.net/book-review-program/

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact editor@pmworldjournal.com