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Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines Paperback – April 24, 2001
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For this book Freedman, a senior editor at Forbes ASAP and author of Brainmakers, trained with the Corps and interviewed scores of marines of every rank to discover 31 management principles "built around simple truths about human nature and the uncertainties of dynamic environments.... The Marines are used to facing entrenched enemies, short time-frames, chaotic conflicts, and unfavorable terrain --all of which have come to be hallmarks of the New Economy." Some of the ideas that Freedman encountered include Principle No. 1: "Aim for the 70-percent solution. It's better to decide quickly on an imperfect plan than to roll out a perfect plan when it's too late"; Principle No. 13: "Manage by end state and intent. Tell people what needs to be accomplished and why, and leave the details to them"; and Principle No. 21: "Establish a core identity. Everyone in the organization should feel they're performing an aspect of the same job." It's hard to argue with two centuries of battlefield success, and the wisdom and time-tested management philosophy dissected here should be a valuable prescriptive for any organization hell-bent on winning. --Scott Harrison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The 30 management principles of the US Marine Corps
David H. Freedman
Freedman firmly believes Marine methodology creates a strong and effective organization. For those who read this book, you will probably agree. As you might expect from a book that parallels the military and business management, there are many references to training, discipline, order, and sacrifice.
However, a vast majority of the book gives a perspective of the US Marine Corps which is radically different than most people would expect.
Provided that Freedman is correct in his analysis, the US Marine Corps is an extremely focused group which is both fast, versatile, and effective in complex situations.
1) Marines aim for the 70% solution because in the battlefield, speed and boldness is more important than perfection. Put another way, indecisiveness is a fatal flaw. It is better to make small, frequent, and rapid decisions.
2) Marines find the essence of any mission. It should be made very clear. In the process, all the assumptions, boundaries (what shall we NOT do) should be questioned and explored. Dissension is invited prior to the final decision.
3) Marines are a capability based organization. They are defined by what they are able to do, and how they do it.
4) Marines push decision making to very low levels in the organization. Bureaucracy does not work in the battlefield. To quote. "The best soldiers are ones who follow orders from above, but do not depend on them."
5) The Marines are very competitive. Marines hire through trial by fire. Boot camp is a form of Darwinian natural selection. The best and fittest survive. Even after boot camp, many officers leave the Corps because they cannot be promoted, because they are not the best.Read more ›
Based on the reports of David Freedman in Corps Business, perhaps we civilians need to re-think our images. From beginning -- an introduction by former Marine Corps commandant Charles Krulak -- to end, this book tells the story of an organization which could surely set an example for most American business. Says Krulak, "The hallmark of this fertile environment for personal and professional development is pervasive, clearly defined, and universally respected standards of conduct. These standards stress personal accountability, and our faithful adherence to them has distinguished the Corps for more than two centuries. Their influence is escapable and shapes our every action."
Here is how this unfolds through the course of the book: Marine units have always gotten and will continue to get wide-ranging assignments. They will be asked to perform critical missions in complex and confusing circumstances. But whatever the mission, the Marine Corps' values as reflected in their standards of conduct will remain constant. Mistakes will be made along the way in dealing with situations involving tension and hostility, but if you fail to meet the standards of conduct you can expect serious consequences.
Over the course of two hundred pages, Freedman offers a host of stories and points out incidents which illustrate key lessons.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of my favorite books, a great guide for new leaders. I particularly like the simple aspects like its not good enough to plan for success, you have to plan to avoid... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Wryfox
Excellent exploration of the relationship of the training and values of the USMC as they can be applied to business management. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Everybody that works in a management role should read this book.Published 15 months ago by christopher b. shade
this is the second copy that I bought for myself. I used to work for Microsoft, and while there I bought 30 copies for my team and made it a required reading. Read morePublished on April 23, 2014 by Richard Mclaughlin
Fantastic. Real world stuff that you can actually use right away. 30 hard hitting principles you can put to work tomorrow.Published on November 25, 2013 by Amazon Customer
A phenomenal book for any leader. Perfect for any leadership development program, I use it as a welcome to the club gift for new hires.Published on October 20, 2013 by Sean Cain
Corps Business is an entertaining read. I was turned on to the book by our corporate attorney a few years ago. Read morePublished on October 14, 2013 by Randy
People often balk at reading a book based on the military but EVERYONE I have given this book to have loved it and use it. Read morePublished on February 27, 2013 by DG