Scuttle Your Ships Before Advancing: And Other Lessons from History on Leadership and Change for Today's Managers / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 84%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $65.00   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


In the spring of 1942, Japan's Admiral Yamamoto devised an ingenious strategy to attack Midway Island and deliver the knockout punch of the war in the Pacific. His elegant operational plan--which involved elaborate traps and diversions and required clockwork coordination--was founded on complete faith that he could predict the Americans' every move. But the perfect plan went wrong, and Japan's elite Strike Force was crushed, losing four carriers, over three hundred aircraft, and 2,500 men.
What can today's business managers learn from Yamamoto's stunning defeat at the Battle of Midway? A great deal, according to Richard Luecke, and in Scuttle Your Ships Before Advancing, he illuminates lessons to be learned from Yamamoto and other leaders who have faced memorable crises. We find, for instance, the epitome of decisiveness and entrepreneurialism in Hernan Cortes, as he and a small band of 16th-century adverturers risked everything in a bold gamble for the Aztec empire (the book's title, Scuttle Your Ships, refers to Cortes' strategy that kept his men moving forward). Underdogs who would challenge the status quo can look to France's Louis XI, the "Spider King," and learn how he undermined entrenched rivals through patience and cunning. The Emperor Hadrian, in his consolidation of the sprawling Roman Empire, provides a brilliant model for managing today's multinational corporation. And attitudes toward technology and innovation are vividly illustrated by the 15th-century Battle of Agincourt, in which the stubborn refusal of the French to adopt their English enemy's weapon--the longbow--led to their massacre. From these and other historical episodes, Luecke shows how leadership, daring, and artful administration meant the difference between success and failure. He draws explicit lessons for managers from these long-ago events, and he also reveals parallels in the recent experiences of major corporations from GM to Shearson Lehman. And along the way, he evokes portraits of Martin Luther, W. Edwards Deming, and other visionaries as they struggled with the timeless challenges of authority, change, and human conflict.
Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Skillfully narrated, inspiring yet down-to-earth, Scuttle Your Ships Before Advancing serves up powerful historical lessons for all who would manage and lead in the twenty-first century.

What can today's business managers learn from Admiral Yamamoto's stunning defeat at Midway Island in 1942? In this informative and challenging book, Luecke illuminates lessons to be learned from leaders who have faced memorable crises. Inspiring yet down-to-earth, this book serves up powerful lessons for all who would manage and lead in the 21st century. Illustrations. Maps.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Discarding the notion that history is superfluous, freelance writer Luecke weaves a bold intellectual tapestry disclosing the special relevance of history for today's business managers. Endorsing the theory originally postulated by Will and Ariel Durant that ``history repeats itself, but only in outline and in the large,'' Luecke analyzes disparate individuals (Cortes to Yamamoto), events (the Reformation; the Battle of Crecy), and seminal ideas (espoused by the likes of Deming and Hadrian). His illustrative comments about the use and misuse of historical analogies (focusing on presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson as examples) are involving, as are his views on global empires, the Neustadt-May historical methodology and the strength and importance of ethnic diversity in the U.S. This work is fun to read, educational and gripping, rare traits in a ``business'' work. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In this clearly written work, Luecke, a business writer and editor, presents historical lessons on leadership that can be applied to today's dynamic business environment. He cites a variety of historical episodes that take the reader from ancient Rome to postwar Japan and feature the likes of Emperor Hadrian, Louis XI, Cortes, and Admiral Yamamoto. The episodes provide examples of human conflict and the challenges they present to leadership; by relating these conflicts to contemporary concerns, the author shows how today's managers can lead effectively into the 21st century. This informative title underlines ways we can learn from past successes and failures and illustrates how history can indeed provide insight into the future. It will appeal to business executives, government leaders, and students.-- Joseph W. Leonard, Miami Univ., Oxford, Ohio
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195096422
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/1995
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

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

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
2 Entrepreneurs and Opportunitists: Cortes Takes Mexico 13
3 Challenging the Status Quo: The Spider King Unifies France 34
4 The Power of Ideas: Two Reformers Change the World 57
5 Strategy and Fate: Yamamoto Overplans at Midway 82
6 Global Management: Hadrian Consolidates the Roman Empire 105
7 Managing in Turbulent Times: Hutchinson Misreads the Revolution 126
8 Revitalizing Enterprise Through Innovation: English Arrows Defeat the Iron Men 146
9 The Lessons and Limits of History 167
Notes 183
A Guide to Further Reading 191
Index 197
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)