Several business bestsellers in recent years have been books about warfare strategy and tactics. Sun Tsu's Art of War
and Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings
are titles widely recommended for insight and inspiration preparatory to corporate battle. In Corps Business
, author David Freedman examines the organization and culture of the United States Marine Corps and sees "the best management training program in America."
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.
"An excellent book...David Freedman's analysis of the management principles of the U.S. Marine Corps offers a compelling guide...Reading it reminded me how much I have relied upon what I learned in the Marine Corps to build FedEx."-- Frederick W. Smith, founder and chairman, Federal Express"This outstanding work reveals the leadership secrets that make the Marine Corps the world's most motivated and successful organization. The lessons are universally applicable."-- Robert A. Lutz, CEO, Exide Corp., and former president, Chrysler Corp."Mr. Freedman accurately captures the essence of Marine Corps leadership and thoroughly describes our unique approach to leadership training. Clearly, there is common ground between Marine leadership and business management." -- General Charles C. Krulak, 31st Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps"Don't let the title fool you -- the book doesn't suggest telling sales reps to drop and give you twenty. ... Freedman takes the basic operating principles of the Marines and translates them into building blocks for management success."-- Andy Cohen, "Sales & Marketing Management"Freedman has hit upon a novel approach to management guidance. By examining the techniques of one of the most tightly run organizations on the planet, he is able to highlight universal truths about leadership while at the same time offering some unique tips about motivating underlings and boosting morale."-- David Lazarus, the "San Francisco Chronicle"How can you make your office more flexible, more adaptable to new situations and quicker to react with a higher level of performance? Think and act like the Marines, for one thing."-- "St. Louis Post-Dispatch"For the current business world ...the Marines do indeed have a better idea."-- The "Wall Street Journal