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The Ten Commandments for Business Failure Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 24, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
A former president of the Coca-Cola Company, Keough has assembled an enviable Rolodex in his 81 years, and his book counts Bill Gates, Jack Welch and Warren Buffett among its champions. His lessons draw upon his long and varied career—from his early days as a philosophy major to his first job as a TV sports announcer and employment at Butternut Coffee and Coca-Cola—and comprise a list of tongue-in-cheek rules guaranteed to make the follower a true loser in business: from quit taking risks and be inflexible to don't take time to think and be afraid of the future. Keough supports his commandments with stories of business mistakes and failures, both his own—the roll-out of New Coke, for example—and those of others—namely, Schlitz beer and IBM. While the author's clear and encouraging tone and renown within the business community will likely garner his effort publicity, the unoriginality of the material—all standard business-book fare simply phrased in the negative—keeps this well-meaning book from standing out or offering original advice to business leaders in the market for a little self-improvement. (Aug.) ""
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."
Keough, a distinguished corporate executive, offers a perspective on failure that is especially applicable to leaders who have attained some degree of success. With a foreword by his longtime friend and associate Warren Buffett, the renowned investor, the author presents a chapter on each of his 10 commandments for failure and adds a bonus chapter about how losing passion for work and for life is a certain route to disaster. His failure commandments include stop taking risks; be inflexible; isolate yourself; assume infallibility; play the game close to the foul line (which offers thoughtful commentary on ethics); don’t take time to think; put all your faith in outside consultants; love your bureaucracy; send mixed messages; and be afraid of the future. Keough’s book is rich with examples of failure, and he gives advice on how to recover from mistakes while learning from them and moving ahead. This is an excellent book with valuable insight for corporate executives and those aspiring to corporate leadership. --Mary Whaley
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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
As you read the book and look at the commandments it becomes apparent that we continue to make the same mistakes.
I am reminded of the quote - 'those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeating it!'
The author keeps the language simple and uses some very good example to demonstrate his points.
Should be mandatory reading for all managers
offered by many fishermen.