Soldier of Fortune 500: A Management Survival Guide for the Consulting Wars

Overview

Finally, the real story about corporate America with its increased reliance on consultants. Since the 1990s, consulting solutions have become the de facto standard for solving business problems and providing cover for corporate decision makers. This is not the typical CEO whitewash, or business management primer. Steve Romaine offers a view never before shared with management or stockholders as he takes a hired gun's journey beginning at the outside looking in, and ending at the...
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Soldier of Fortune 500: A Management Survival Guide for the Consulting Wars

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Overview

Finally, the real story about corporate America with its increased reliance on consultants. Since the 1990s, consulting solutions have become the de facto standard for solving business problems and providing cover for corporate decision makers. This is not the typical CEO whitewash, or business management primer. Steve Romaine offers a view never before shared with management or stockholders as he takes a hired gun's journey beginning at the outside looking in, and ending at the pinnacle of a corporation's power.

Based on his experience of working for IBM, his later role as a self-employed consultant, and finally his responsibilities as senior vice president for NationsBank, Romaine makes it clear that the issues leading to the collapse of Enron were not isolated events. Soldier of Fortune 500 explores corporate cronyism between executives and their consultants, and builds a convincing case of how, without the proper safeguards, such cozy relationships can lead to pervasive problems, placing stockholders, employees, and the future viability of the American corporation at risk.

This book is a must read for corporate managers, employees, and anyone involved with the consulting business.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreword Magazine
Soldier of Fortune 500 is a morality tale, told in modern terms, where the hero loses because he wants to do what's right. Our hero, though, is fighting an entrenched adversary in a culture where politics rule, the players of the game cheat, and the kid who tells the emperor that he has no clothes on is punished for his honesty . . . Even if you're not in business, it's an interesting story, and worth the read.
—Andrew Willis, Foreword Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573929950
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 9/4/2002
  • Pages: 450
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Romaine (Fairfield, CT), now an independent consultant, has held high-level consulting and managerial positions with KPMG Consulting, The Monitor Company, NationsBank, Informed Technology Decisions, and IBM.
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Interviews & Essays

Wisdom from the Corporate Trenches
Soldier of Fortune 500 is based on lessons I learned over and over again while toiling in the corporate trenches. Based on hands-on experience, I offer Soldier of Fortune 500 as a road map to new solutions for our changing, challenging times.

Thanks to Enron and the corporate scandals that followed, the days of “one-stop shopping” for auditors and consultants are over. There has been plenty of discussion on auditing, but what are the implications for consulting as they split from the auditors and create new business models through reorganizations and mergers? How do business managers select the right consulting partners who are competent, effective, and -- perhaps not considered anywhere near enough in the past -- ethical? How do companies restore confidence in investors, consumers, and employees? Is hiring more consultants to evaluate the business the answer, or are consultants part of the problem? Before these and other questions can be answered, it’s important to understand that consultants are hired guns and often bring their own agenda, sometimes hidden, to the client engagement. Understanding who they are, how they work, and what motivates the four distinct types of consultants can mean the difference in successful results -- or losing your job. Soldier of Fortune 500 suggests managing consultants can be a lot like herding cats. Consultants can and do provide valuable services. And then again...

Soldier of Fortune 500 questions accepted business assumptions and attempts to dispel the many myths surrounding the profession that grew like the stock market during the “irrational exuberance” of the '90s. It also attempts to provide help for business leaders in identifying good consulting and separating it from the pack. Today there is more disparity in skills and capabilities within the consulting profession than ever before. More and more consulting organizations claim to be “comprehensive service providers” and suggest there is no need to look any further than their firm for providing soup-to-nuts solutions all the way from advising on strategy to contract programming. If auditors need to be split from consultants because of potential conflict-of-interest issues, doesn’t it stand to reason that similar issues exist when the “objective adviser” argues that they should be retained to implement the solution that they also recommended? Can the business manager be certain the recommended solutions from the consultants are truly in the best interest of the corporation? Soldier of Fortune 500 was written to help sort through these and other issues.

There is a preponderance of books written from the view of the chief executive or consultant. Soldier of Fortune 500 is the view of a former consultant turned employee who knows the other team’s playbook. It is told in story form and based on actual occurrences. It attempts to offer real-world solutions and help business managers avoid the pitfalls that can occur when consultants manage the manager, versus the other way around. “Say what you mean and always think team.” “Manage them, or they will manage you.” Steve Romaine

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2002

    Required reading to be in-the-know

    This is truly "inside information" if you're one of those managers who has to deal with consultants. The author tells an eye-opening story and offers plenty of good advice which could save you some headaches or even your job. I didn't really understand the whole Enron/Andersen story until reading this; now I do. This should be required reading for anyone who works in the corporate world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2002

    Must Read for Anyone who HIres Consultants

    Not only is this book chock full of fundamentals for managing consultants, but it's also been fun to read. Imagine signing up for another 30 minutes on the stairmaster just to get to the end of a chapter. Steve Romaine has created a Ramond Chandler-esque adventure through corporate America. I highly recommend and appreciate his end of the chapter review of tips and tools.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2002

    How to Win as a Consultant

    This book is an excellent inside look at the politics and, often, the pettiness that drives corporate projects. Anyone who is a consultant needs to read this so they will know how to spot the landmines in the corporate terrain, avoid the politically incorrect steps we all make, and get with the program to be a successful consultant. The Big Consulting Firms will do just about anything to maximize their billable time, while squeezing out the Independent Consultant. Read Steve Romaine's book and learn how to win! At the end of every chapter there are great tips and guidelines for success.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2002

    The best business book in years

    If you work for a company that employs consultants, read this book. (And watch your back.) If you've ever wanted to know how corporate America works (or lately, doesn't work) read this book. It is the best explanation of what happened to companies like Enron and why red flags are popping up like dandelions on Wall Street. Romaine is a bold new voice who actually has the guts to tell investors what we've been thinking all along; that corporate America is wasting our hard earned investment dollars with the inability to make decisions... and our hard earned dividends are going to consultants. Before you jump into the market, invest a few bucks in this book and find out what really goes on in the boardrooms. "Soldier" is a rare business book in that the author is a hero to root for.

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