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Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way + Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines + No Yelling: The 9 Secrets of Marine Corps Leadership You Must Know to Win in Business
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 1 edition (September 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814472729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814472729
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Semper Fidelis," the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps, means "Always Faithful." The title thus emphasizes the authors' allegiance to leadership principles and management practices that they consider fundamental in the Corps. Carrison and Walsh, former Marine officers now working in business and coauthoring the syndicated "Rosie's Bar & Grill" column, have assembled a set of directives that show civilian managers and organizations how they can benefit from emulating Corps policies. Chapters address recruitment, training, supervision of the rank and file, middle and senior managements and overall winning strategies, with cardinal points explained in short sections. What the authors consider analogous situations in the Corps and in the business world are compared, such as their hierarchical natures and siege mentalities, and recommendations ("Instill Courage," "Study the Past," "Keep Goals Realistic," "Command from a Forward Position") are summarized in broadly applicable checklists. With clarity and conviction, the authors constantly reinforce basic viewpoints, in a style that will appeal more to readers with military mindsets than what-me-worriers. Most likely to promote understanding and respect among the public are the portrayals of experiences and perspectives of individual members of the Corps, which give spark to what is in the main a generic performance.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Carrison and Walsh, syndicated columnists and former Marines, contend that business organizations can learn a lot from the way the Marines select, train, and develop personnel. In the Marine corps, espirit de corps and morale are virtually synonymous?and a source of envy not only for other service branches but for high-octane businesses as well. While Sun Tzu's The Art of War may be the treatise for strategy, Carrison and Walsh focus on the human equation. One working premise of the Marine corps is that leadership can be developed, and this book's strength is in application: each illustration of a Marine corp practice is followed by a transfer application to a business situation. Semper Fi is paralleled in the academic press by Jeffrey Pfeiffer's The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First (LJ 12/97.) Recommended for general collections.?Steven Silkunas, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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God Bless the United States Marines!
Matthew D. Ream
Civilian or ex Military, if you are in a position of leadership in business this book is a must read.
Marcus Payne
This was a very easy reading and well formulated book.
Eran Peery

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Dudley Sykes on August 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dr.Jim Tunney, the retired dean of NFL referees and one of the nation's best motivational speakers may have described the theme of Semper Fi the best when he said, "Winner's don't have a good attitude because they win, they win because they have a good attitude."
The blunt, intimidating, humiliating style of motivation and human development often associated with the Marine Corps is quickly dispelled in this book. Instead, it is shown that after twelve weeks of combat readiness basic training, the Marine style of developing people is psychologically sound and can be used in the business world. It is a must read.
Research in workplace motivation has been neglected since 1927 when the "halo effect" style of managing was proven to be the most efficient. The Marine Corps understands that "unit cohesiveness" is important and loyalty of people to an organization cannot be coerced, it must be inspired by good leadership. The authors make it clear that every recruit is made to feel special through the openness and trust conveyed by their supervisors. Such traits are missing in corporate America. The goal of Marine Corp leadership is to develop winning attitudes in people and this is done from the bottom up, not through the insulting top-down methods common in most businesses.
The book points out how high morale can be maintained by the way supervisors relate to those they must lead whether it be in battle or business. The welfare of the individual is paramount and the Marine motto of Semper Fi, which means Always Faithful, is highlighted in the book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a former Marine officer and now a corporate cubical dweller I found this book an excellent reminder of my leadership training and experience from my years in the Marine Corps. One needs not to have served for this book to be useful. However, one does need to read the book with some caution. The authors presented a Marine Corps that seemed euphoric in nature. I loved my time in the Marines, but my experience recalls institutionalized pitfalls and humanistic weaknesses as well. "Semper Fi" offers outstanding advice, but is by no means a cure-all or a magic bullet. The principles outlined in the book will only be effective if applied with a lot of hard work. The leadership principles are simple and they were presented in a clear and practical format. The reader must understand effective leaders in the Marine Corps have been and must be vigilant in their efforts. As the authors made clear in the book, leadership by example is essential. I have utilized many of the same leadership principles from manufacturing and process improvement to project management, and the results have clearly made positive changes to the business and to the personnel impacted by these changes. I strongly recommend this book to anyone in or aspiring to a leadership position. I would even go as far to say those currently serving in the Marine Corps or military could benefit from this easy reading book. It sets a benchmark for business's to work towards and for the military to maintain and improve upon.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Dan Carrison and Rod Walsh -- who once served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps -- suggest there are valuable business lessons to be learned from it. That is, "Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way." For example, "If all employees in a company, from the CEO to the line assembler, believe that they work for the best company in the industry, that they are without peer, and that those who work for the competition do so because they are not qualified to work for the best in the business, then an applicant may be motivated to join for reasons other than money." For example, executives who "command from a forward position" get out from behind a desk and leave the office to walk the shop floor. They visit other facilities, meet with small groups of employees to brief them on company news, attend initial meetings with prospects, call on customers, attend tradeshows, and in countless other ways "fight side-by-side with the troops" there in the "trenches"...whatever and wherever those trenches may be. Carrison and Walsh then ask us to envision an organization in which the majority of its creative and intelligent people walked around all day with the thought `I must not fail' in the back of their minds. Such an organization would be formidable indeed."

It remains for each reader of Semper Fi to determine what is most relevant to her or his own organization. Whenever groups of people are assembled with a common purpose, there will always be a need for leadership. With more than 200 years of experience developing leaders "throughout the ranks", the Marine Corps remains a unique organization of enduring excellence.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew D. Ream on November 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book was full of great suggestions for improving the culture of a company through innovative leadership, as well as fantastic leadership techniques. So much of these techniques seem foreign to today's "leaders" yet make so much sense.
The only thing I found demoralizing about this book was that it makes my company's work (as well as most modern business) seem insignificant compared to the contribution the Marines make to our country and our society. Most companies do not deal with the same life-and-death issues the Marines face.
Still, the techniques remain sound. God Bless the United States Marines!
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