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Mutiny and Its Bounty: Leadership Lessons from the Age of Discovery Hardcover – March 19, 2013
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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This original book explores how great seafaring captains like Columbus and Magellan not only quelled mutinies but also built upon such incidents to strengthen their enterprises. Today’s organizational leaders have much to learn about leadership and tactics from these earlier masters.
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Part I of the book offers real world accounts with in-depth detail allowing the reader to understand the complexity of the relationships and leadership dynamics at play in seafaring ventures, the parallels faced by modern entrepreneurial enterprises and business environments with high uncertainty become immediately apparent. Examining the voyages of Columbus, Magellan, Cabot and Hudson will shed new light on these historically momentous voyages, of interest to the casual reader and history buff alike. Part II focuses on the practical lessons about leadership drawn from the historical accounts and come full circle as Coye discusses his own experience with mutiny on the open seas and contemporary examples of mutiny are examined. Murphy and Coye's expertise in management and modern organizations allow them to offer both practical and original insights on the potential positive force of mutiny and methods to understand its drivers. The conceptualization of trust as a 2 dimensional construct (composed of trust and distrust) is an excellent example of a practical paradigm useful to members at all levels of an organization. Many readers will be able to identify with either the lovable yet incompetent leader or the expert but aloof one. Whether you or an employee under such a leader or a leader with these characteristics, Mutiny and its Bounty will offer practical insights on how to improve your current organizational positioning.
As a professional in financial markets I am always intrigued by attempts to understand how and why radical changes occur especially in an organizational setting. Mutiny and its Bounty offers an excellent framework for understanding leadership and mutiny as two sides of the same coin and a method for recognizing which types of environments set the stage for mutiny. Rarely does a book offer practical guidance beneficial from the c-suite to the front lines, while recognizing the natural limitations of the modern industrial organization. Whether a CEO leading your organization through uncertain times, an entrepreneur guiding your venture into the unknown or an employee seeking to improve your organization from the bottom up, Murphy and Coye have put together a work worthy of your careful attention.
More importantly the attempt to link lessons from 15th, 16th and 17th century mutiny and current leadership lessons was very weak. Repeated vague references a "gap in values between the leader and members" with no articulation of what those values were and how that might connect to a leader in today's business world just didn't bridge the gap.
I was very disappointed. I actually couldn't finish the book it was so tedious.
Most of the first part of the book is devoted to stories about the voyages of Columbus, Magellan and other explorers, many aspects of which I had not read elsewhere. The authors have done an admirable job unearthing primary sources that lend a richness to these stories, making them into delightful page-turners. I really enjoyed this book!
In the second part, they begin to weave in contemporary stories of mutinies, drawing the entire package into a tight conclusion providing insight into the causes and signals indicating an potential impending mutiny. There are plenty of lessons here for both bosses against whom a mutiny may be directed, as well as the underlings who lose faith in the leadership.
The one unfortunate reality that appears to run as a thread through all of the stories is that most leaders who have to deal with a mutinous crew (or department) are oblivious as to the effect their behavior has on their people. Ironically, the bosses who would most benefit from this book are probably the least likely to buy it.