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Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management: The Founding Father Of American Business Solves Your Toughest Problems Paperback – April 15, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


Start a Revolution in Your Management Thinking!

Although Ben Franklin is best known for being a patriot, diplomat, and inventor, he first rose from obscurity to become one of the most influential and successful business owners in Colonial America. In fact, Franklin was so successful that he was able to retire at age 42 to pursue his other, more well-known interests.

Franklin chronicled his early life in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Drawing upon that book’s wealth of wisdom, Ben Franklin’s 12 Rules of Management explores the innovative management principles and philosophies this “Founding Father of American Business” pioneered, including:

•Great managers rarely have great beginnings
•Seek first to manage yourself, then to manage others
•Influence is more important than victory
•Become a revolutionary for positive experimentation and change
•Sometimes it’s better to do 1,001 small things right than one large thing right
•Incentive is everything

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a mid-level manager, or a Fortune 500 executive, Ben Franklin’s 12 Rules of Management will inspire you to integrate Franklin’s wisdom into your everyday life and show you how to use his revolutionary management philosophies to improve your performance and more effectively manage your business.

About the Author


Blaine McCormick is a nationally recognized expert on the life and business practices of Benjamin Franklin. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, CNN, and ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. He is the associate dean for undergraduate programs at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, where he teaches negotiation and conflict resolution.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Entrepreneur Press; 1 edition (April 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891984144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891984143
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #910,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
If you are looking for good manager advice, this is a very good book.
Denis Benchimol Minev
Studying the philosophies, techniques and knowledge of anyone you consider to be successful can be an awesome and powerful influence.
Bryan Crump
I highly recommend this book to anyone in management or who is interested in business.
James R. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Most books built around the theme of a famous person's leadership or management principles are pretty thin on substance. This book is an exception, and is probably the most effective version of that genre that I have seen. Naturally, it helps to begin by having Ben Franklin's witty observations and common sense to build on. But the author does a fine job of supplementing those foundations with modern examples, analyses of the meaning of Franklin's life and experiences, and ways to apply the principles in your own life.
If you haven't read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, you have a real treat ahead of you. In fact, I would recommend that you read that before reading this book. You need a bit more context on Franklin to fully appreciate the lessons outlined in this book. Everything in this book is drawn from that as a source.
The main drawback of this book is that the quotes by Franklin (which the author apologizes for and warns about in the introduction) are hard to read. Franklin loved to capitalize a lot in a seemingly random fashion compared to how we do it today; he adored ampersands; and he used archaic nouns and verbs not familiar to us today. On the other hand, I think you will find them rewarding in most cases if you take the time to absorb them. I suggest reading them aloud.
A strength of using Ben Franklin as a source is that he was, in fact, a very successful businessman who retired at the age of 42. He was talented in many other ways, as well.
I see the 12 rules as being great stallbusting material. He encourages people not to use humble beginnings as a reason for not striving for the top. Franklin emphasized self-management as a precursor to managing others.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on March 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is an interesting read, as it uses Ben Franklin, one of the most celebrated characters in history, to give substance to certain abstract concepts relating to good managers and leaders.
In many ways, it is a very pragmatic book, even Machiavellian. For example, Franklin made sure people had an impression of his being a hard worker, by keeping his lights on till very late and by making sure people saw him leaving his work very late. Translated to today's world, such a rule could be translated into the realm of "face time". Like this one, the rules in the book are timeless.
My only concern about the book is the limited historical scope of it. It focuses on the period before Franklin got involved with politics and the revolution, so the more interesting parts of his life are not present. When I grabbed this book, I was expecting both a management lesson and a history one; forget the history one.
One should keep in mind the title of the book: 12 Rules of MANAGEMENT. That is very accurate, and it is clear that those rules are focused on management and NOT leadership. If you are looking for good manager advice, this is a very good book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
One of my ancestors was among the signers of the Declaration of Independence, a fact which helps to explain my special interest in late-18th century American history. Of course, Ben Franklin played a major role then and remains one of the most highly regarded of our nation's "founding fathers." When I first obtained a copy of McCormick's book, I was immediately suspicious. I consider Franklin's Autobiography a masterpiece and feared that McCormick would simply "package" some of Franklin's best ideas after marinating them in contemporary business jargon, make a quick buck or two, and then move on another writing project (eg Secrets of Paleolithic Leadership).
In fact, this is a solid book. McCormick wrote it for "current and future managers, supervisors and small business owners" but I think it has value for managers within ALL organizations, non-profit as well as for-profit, regardless of size or nature. The scope, depth, and clarity of Franklin's ideas continue to have wide and deep relevance.
A very informative Introduction is followed by 12 chapters (one per "Rule"). At the conclusion of each chapter, there is a checklist of activities. Throughout the book, Franklin is quoted extensively but McCormick does not (to his credit) depend on the Franklin quotations to "carry" the narrative. On the contrary, McCormick's all-important role is to correlate Franklin's "Rules" with the contemporary business world and he does so with considerable skill. So, I was surprised and pleased as I read this book.
A few final points. In the Conclusion, McCormick expresses the hope that his book will help its reader to become a better "businessperson." With all due respect to the most advanced technologies today, they will never replace the need for human beings.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James R. Brown on May 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I think it is important to understand who writes these reviews and where they are coming from. I am a Team Leader for a 70 member real estate firm. Therefore anything that can help me better manage 70 independent contractors is well worth the read. I found this book to be exceptional because (1) it kept my interest peaked, (2) it contains a lot of great quotes and theories, (3) it reinforced what I am doing right and (4) more importantly, provided me with food-for-thought about how I can do a lot more things better. I intend to use Ben Franklins method of concentrating on just one "trait" per week and then grade myself on how well I advanced the concept during the week until I work my way through all 12 Rules. Should be an interesting couple of months. I highly recommend this book to anyone in management or who is interested in business.
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