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The Ten Commandments for Business Failure Paperback – June 28, 2011
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? Bill Gates
?This is a great book, filled with terrific advice from a management icon, and brought alive by real stories from business history. It is a must-read for every leader.?
? Jack Welch
?Don's best ability is to cut to the chase on an issue, to cut through the bureaucratic fog. Keep it simple is his principle and mine too.?
? Warren Buffett (from the foreword)
"Don Keough, with his sixty years of business experience, is well equipped to comment about business leadership. He is an outstanding man, and I am proud to call him friend."
? Former President George H. W. Bush
?I would rather listen to Don Keough on almost any subject ? his empathetic wit and wisdom are a cure all for what ails on any day. He's now written it down and if
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This book was recommended to me by an old friend years ago.
I absolutely love the book and enjoy what it stands for.
I've learned so much from these business principles and I will carry them with me for the rest of my life.
This book has touched me deeply and I am grateful to have benefited. It's a wake up call for executives and anyone with a responsibility of shaping and executing a spirit of Excellence in corporate culture.
This is one of those books that's a cult classic.
I was a Business major in College and I wished they gave us a copy of this.
This should be required reading for every entrepreneur and aspiring business person. Knowing these commandments and avoiding the disaster of repeating the mistakes is invaluable for success.
This is a must read. So grateful I invested my time in this treasure.
I have found that knowing the pitfalls is a better area to know than it is how to succeed.
The book is lively and fun to read. The points all make sense. The focus is on being involved in your work and to move away from the “set it and forget it” focus of modern business
My personal suggestion to anyone reading this book would be to expand the lessons and apply them to other books and media. The lessons taught in other books, such as Dave Ramsey’s “EntreLeadership”, have warning’s throughout them about avoiding stumbling blocks. The less informative ones are all about the wonderful success’s only.
Looking at the failures and pitfalls are not exercise’s in excuses. Think of this book as showing areas in personal Quality Control to keep focus on.
I think that the commandments for failure are widely applicable.
I intend to write an essay for my friends that shows similar failure points for everyday life & living.
Commandments 5 (Play The Game Close to the Foul Line) and 6 (Don't Take Time to Think) were my favorites. I especially enjoyed the reference to you cannot legislate ethics.
Each chapter is filled with quotations, pieces of business history that are probably not known by the average business person and just plan, succinct advice as to what contributes to business failure versus business success. Given the easy writing style of Keough, this book can be quickly read and reread especially if you are interested in how to avoid business failure and secure business success so that you are the Red Jacket in a Sea of Gray Suits. be The Red Jacket in a sea of gray suits
offered by many fishermen.
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Victor's Take On Donald Keough's "10 Commandments For Business Failure"
Published on August 27, 2019
Victor Ayoola, MSc, FCCA, CIMA Adv Dip MA
Country Education and Learning Manager at ACCA
Ten Commandments of Business Failure by Donald R Keough- Former President/CEO Coca-cola
Growing up in Nigeria, West Africa, there used to be a children’s programme on TV called "Tales by Moonlight" where an Aunt tells some stories from the animal kingdom to illustrate important virtues. It was engaging, sometimes funny but often well acted with actors/actresses dressed in animal costumes. The morale of the stories sank… because they were simple, sensible and sweetened catchy musicals long before America's teen sensation the high school musical became famous. Adults and children often stayed glued to the TV screen. Such is my first impression of Donald R. Keough’s book entitled “Ten Commandments For Business Failure”.
Unlike the biblical Ten Commandments which tell you what not to do as”Thou shall not…” Robert says he has had it all from experts dishing out textbook formula for success which does not work consistently for everyone. Rather, the lessons he has learnt from many successes and failures is to let people know things that must be done if they want to fail. He used a smart combination of satire and age old wisdom laced with historical facts on the rise and fall of great companies like IBM and Xerox, sometimes appearing to be vacillating between the devil and the deep blue sea.
The book’s credibility is from Donald’s practical commonsense examples which are unmissable. Please move on If you are looking for a book that is deep in psychology or self help with 20,000 research subjects This is not a technically heavy book nor with great academic flair but one with great history and insight garnered over six decades of management experience and combining over 120 years of coca cola and other corporate lessons. It is written by a man who mastered management by walking around and whose outstanding claim to fame is not academic research but getting his hands dirty working with great corporations including Coca Cola. The experience of over 6 decades is distilled in a short volume which is generally easy to read and sometimes compelling.
Whereas many reviewers including on GoodRead have criticized the book as being light on depth and substance and less useful than hyped. Perhaps with Warren Buffet writing the foreword and other successful business leaders like Bill Gates, George Bush, Robert Murdoch etc commending it richly many expected a rocket science treatise. I like to take a different stance of maintaining the spirit of the author’s approach in distilling the crucial lessons.
The author was clear at the beginning he was not about to give a lecture on how to succeed but to share nuggets of wisdom on avoiding failure.
For the want of space and time, I will be focused henceforth.
Book Structure and Summary:
After a foreword by Warren Buffet which highlights Donald's practical leadership and persuasiveness credentials and the authors own review of his background the book was arranged into the ten commandments and a bonus. Each of these is followed by a summary of the essence of the commandment with an illustration of how that leads to business failure. The book is well structured and moves precept upon precept. I have grouped the commandments in clusters to emphasise similar thoughts in my own words (in bold headings).
Environmental Awareness and Relevance
#1- Commandment number one- Quit taking risks
#2- Commandment number two- Be inflexible
#3- Commandment number three- Isolate Yourself!
Today’s success is built on risks taken yesterday. When a business stop taking risks it puts its future at risk. Don often goes around asking people what do we need to be worried about that we are not. Related to the reluctance to take risks is outright inflexibility leading to resistance to change. Using the its my way or the highway approach. Coca Cola's resistance to change to its very successful patented bottle in the face of stiff competition from Pepsis which offered double volumes for same price almost cost it dearly. Henry Ford responded late to challenge from other automakers getting stuck in the 1920s T design while America was moving towards bigger cars. This when fully grown leads to fully isolated leaders who often like to be told what they want to hear instead of reality. This played a crucial role in WW2 with Churchill creating a special office for communicating problems whereas Adolf Hitler's Secretary noticed he could not handle any information contr
Give this book a read, it won't take you long. I tend to read my books in a cover to cover fashion. and it took me about 3 days to finish. The lessons are clear and fairly concise
The Hardback is strong, the pages turn with ease and aren't to thin. the print of the words are of decent size, not tiny as a dictionary's words. I know books like those can look rather unwelcoming
involved in running a business or just for the fun of it. Buy it.
Keep this on your shelve for constant review to prevent failure in business.
Everyone that's in business should read this book and avoid the commandments