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Jeffrey Sonnenfeld

Senior Associate Dean, Yale School of Management

There is no business leader or business student who won’t find themselves riveted to the perspectives this book offers on the strategic thinking and execution behind the technologies which have profoundly reshaped industry and transformed the way we live.  Thus everyone in legislatures and the media need this book as well. At a time when appropriate critiques of the unchecked power of big tech abound, this book instead explains such enterprises flourish, drawing upon examples from our past and present that foreshadow our future as well as key concepts in strategic, marketing, entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology.  All this with an engaging writing style.  Every page makes you feel 10 percent smarter.

Keith Williams

President and CEO,


In his first book, Compete Smarter, Not Harder, Dr. William Putsis presents a process to strategically prioritize market opportunities. In The Carrot and the Stick, he follows up on this by extending the concept of strategic control to multiple market opportunities. We have found his process to be instrumental to the success we have been having in growing our markets and to our move to adjacent market opportunities. Highly recommend the book to anyone interested in growing their business.

Molly Nagler

Chief Learning Officer,


Bill takes all the small things happening on the periphery of our vision and brings them into focus. He deploys stories from companies in wildly different historical contexts and industries--from Amazon to Owens Corning--forcing us to relinquish the tiresome trope, “but things are different in my industry.” Everyone has a carrot, and everyone has a stick. If you don’t see yourself in this book, you’re not reading closely enough.

Ron Warren

Founder and Principal,



The Carrot and the Stick  weaves together truly amazing marketing, economics and technology stories that will cause the reader to be fascinated and astounded by Bill’s insights.  I full-heartedly recommend The Carrot and the Stick for anyone interested in learning new ways to see and understand how the 21st Century Global business world operates. 

Benn Konsynski

George S. Craft Distinguished 

Professor of Information systems, 

Emory University


William Putsis offers important insight on the development of enterprise in the 21st century and the establishment of platforms and ecosystems. The dual considerations of strategic control and the alignment of incentives are essential to modern leadership.  Any manager leading transformation and innovation should read this book.

Christian Anschuetz

Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer,


The Navy Seals have a motto, “Never fight fair”. This simple statement makes it clear that even the very best and most effective organizations seek to enter all engagements with the upper hand in order to ensure a winning outcome. Bill Putsis’ fascinating work, “The Carrot and the Stick”, embraces this notion and provides well-crafted and informative proof points designed to help companies identify and capitalize on the strategic control points that will ensure victory in even the most competitive markets.

Terry Brady



In his newest book, The Carrot and the Stick: Leveraging Strategic Control for Growth, Dr. William Putsis explains how to employ key strategic control points and align incentives through the value chain to beat the competition.  In The Carrot and the Stick Dr. Putsis shares compelling accounts of business successes and failures over the past 150 years, carefully analyzing why some companies win and others lose, and building upon his must-read guide to choosing the correct target markets and customers, Compete Smarter, Not Harder: A Process for Developing the Right Priorities Through Strategic Thinking. 

Patrick Boyle

Chief Learning Officer,


This book covers a critical concept in gaining and keeping a strategic advantage. Going through structured process to identify strategic control points is good business practice in the first place. Then being able to identify that point of strategic control allows for a powerful alignment of resources to leverage it while it lasts. Professor Putsis sets out very compelling examples and cases to illustrate both the process and the outcomes of identifying and owning strategic control points. It is an approach that we are actively teaching and doing at UL and we believe that we are seeing results from it.

Ravi Dhar

George Rogers Clark Professor of Management,

Yale School of Management


This book is a must read if you want to compete and win in the markets of today and tomorrow. Success requires understanding how to think in both win-lose and win-win ways. Putsis lays out a rigorous framework with clever real world examples to help understand how sustainable profits depend upon ownership of strategic points of control and win-win incentives along the value chain.

Terry Theodore

Partner and Executive Vice President,

Center Rock Capital Management

The critical question in determining the value of a business is “What gives a business the power to attract and hold customers while generating outsized profitability?”   “The Carrot and the Stick” answers this question effectively and efficiently with a perfect balance of engaging stories mixed with real world exercises and action steps. 


Professor Putsis helps us understand how the fundamental intrinsic value of any business rests in its critical importance to its customers, while providing a straightforward and easily applied approach to evaluating and increasing this value in our own businesses. 


I especially appreciated that “The Carrot and the Stick” did not “talk at me” with a series of lessons, but through simple exercises guide me to explore and discover what will make our own unique businesses more valuable.  Providing more than just the “what” and the “why”, Professor Putsis most importantly lays out the “how” of executing a value creation strategy based on building critical importance to customers.

Mike Lohnert

Managing Director,

Boeing HorizonX Ventures

After reading The Carrot and the Stick: Leveraging Strategic Control for Growth, you will start to look at everyday situations differently.  Dr. Putsis provides a compelling narrative across industries and time periods showing how considering strategic control points can swing business outcomes.  One such story is of Cornelius Vanderbilt and how he was able to utilize one of his assets, a railroad bridge, which held a critical strategic control point to gain the upper hand in a business negotiation.  It is however Dr. Putsis’s role as a strategic advisor to many global brand-name corporations that allows him to go beyond what would otherwise be theory and academic and connect it to the practitioner.

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