SCUTTLE YOUR SHIPS BEFORE ADVANCING by Richard Luecke

SCUTTLE YOUR SHIPS BEFORE ADVANCING

And Other Lessons from History on Leadership and Change for Today's Managers
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Most of those who use the days 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. (Ten line drawings, maps)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-19-508408-X
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1993