Scuttle Your Ships Before Advancing and Other Lessons from History on Leadership and Change for Today's Managers

Scuttle Your Ships Before Advancing and Other Lessons from History on Leadership and Change for Today's Managers

3.88 (17 ratings by Goodreads)
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What can today's business managers learn from the past? A great deal, according to Richard Luecke, who advances the premise that many of the challenges faced by management today have been confronted before by major figures in history. Drawing parallels with Admiral Yamamoto's defeat at Midway, Hernan Cortes's gamble for the Aztec Empire, Hadrian's consolidation of the Roman Empire, and the English victory at Agincourt, the book examines rapid revolutionary change, the risks of decision-making, institutional cycles of rise and decline, the power of new ideas, and many other challenges faced by modern business more

Product details

  • Hardback | 210 pages
  • 124.46 x 134.62 x 73.66mm | 68.04g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • line figures, maps, tables, bibliography
  • 019508408X
  • 9780195084085

Review Text

Most of those who use the clays of yore to catechize or instruct corporate executives go no further than military history. But business writer Luecke - while cognizant of the hard business lessons that may be learned from war - draws on a wider selection of events from the classical era to the present; among other results, his erudite but accessible commentaries afford a more engaging and effective guide for managers, aspiring or otherwise. For openers, the author focuses on Cortes, the risk-taking adventurer who conquered Aztec Mexico, and Louis XI, whose cunning challenge of a feudal status quo transformed medieval France into a nation-state. Luecke goes on to recount the achievements of Hadrian (whose ability to consolidate Rome's culturally diverse empire ranks him among the paradigmatic administrators of multinational enterprises) and the pivotal failure of Japan's Isoroku Yamamoto to deliver a knockout blow to the US Navy's Pacific fleet at WW II's Battle of Midway, owning mainly to an overly elaborate plan with little allowance for error or chance. Covered as well is a decidedly odd couple (Martin Luther and W. Edwards Deming), plus Thomas Hutchinson, England's man in the rebellious colony that became Massachusetts. In closing, Luecke offers cautionary counsel on how yesteryear's lessons might, within limits, be applied to contemporary commercial circumstances. Perceptive, low-key perspectives on how thoroughly modern organization men and women could, with a bit of thought, profit from the past. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

About Richard A. Luecke

About the Author: Richard Luecke is a freelance business writer and former editor of books on management, finance, and more

Rating details

17 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 29% (5)
4 35% (6)
3 29% (5)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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