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Lessons in Ethical Leadership from an Epic Tale of Success
on May 23, 2006
As the editor of "Xenophon's Cyrus the Great," I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you a little more about my version of this amazing ancient classic. The foremost management guru of recent times, Peter F. Drucker, read my manuscript before it was published, and he wrote this endorsement for use on its dust jacket: "'Xenophon's Cyrus,' the first book on the subject, is still the best book on leadership." Here's just a touch of background: Cyrus, the founder of the Persian empire, was an enlightened monarch who flourished 2,500 years ago. A century later, Xenophon of Athens so admired Cyrus' methods that he preserved them in history's first full-fledged treatment of wise and heroic leadership. This book presents its leadership lessons in the context of an epic story--the story of a vast power struggle. In narrating the events of Cyrus' life, Xenophon shows you, the reader, how to conduct meetings, become an expert negotiator, deal efficiently with allies, communicate by appealing to the self-interest of your followers, encourage the highest standards of performance, insure that your organization has the benefit of specialists, and prove that your words will be backed by your deeds. In recounting the achievements of Cyrus the Great, Xenophon wanted above all to provide lessons in ethical leadership, for he was convinced that honest, moral leaders succeed far more often than corrupt and evasive types. The result was a captivating leadership classic with unique qualities--a classic that's distinguished both by its suspenseful story line and the priceless advice that it offers to today's business professionals and leaders in all walks of life.