Book it: Best bets for board reading: From a roundup of new books, leadership insights on winning the career game, the dangers of denial, the new activism, director dilemmas, and memorable board moments.: Memorable moments from a board meeting.

 
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From The Devil's Casino by Vicky Ward. Copyright 2010 by the author. Published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. (www.wiley.com).

THE DEAL TO SPIN OFF Lehman Brothers still had to be approved by American Express's board--most of whom were skeptical that a spinoff was a good thing. Lehman, after all, made money. Amex Chairman Harvey Golub placated them by saying that the spinoff would be tax-free.

The presentation--a basic run-down of the businesses within Lehman, and what the economics looked like going forward--went over well, and the board signed off on the deal. Two memorable moments occurred. First, when former Secretary of Stale Henry Kissinger, then on the American Express board, opened a sweetener packet, emptied it into his iced tea, then stirred the beverage with his pencil--eraser end first.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The second was when another board member, former U.S. President Gerald...

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