Don Keough—a former top executive at Coca-Cola and now chairman of the elite investment banking firm Allen & Company—has witnessed plenty of failures in his sixty-year career (including New Coke). He has also been friends with some of the most successful people in business history, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Rupert Murdoch, and Peter Drucker.
Now this elder statesman reveals how great enterprises get into trouble. Even the smartest executives can fall into the trap of believing in their own infallibility. When that happens, more bad decisions are sure to follow.
This light-hearted “how-not-to” book includes anecdotes from Keough's long career as well as other infamous failures. His commandments for failure include: Quit Taking Risks; Be Inflexible; Assume Infallibility; Put All Your Faith in Experts; Send Mixed Messages; and Be Afraid of the Future.
As he writes, “After a lifetime in business I've never been able to develop a step-by-step formula that will guarantee success. What I could do, however, was talk about how to lose. I guarantee that anyone who follows my formula will be a highly successful loser.”
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Donald R. Keough is chairman of the board of the investment banking firm Allen & Company. He served as president, chief operating officer, and a director of The Coca-Cola Company from 1981 to 1993. He was reelected a director of the company in 2004. He has served on many prominent boards of directors including those of Berkshire Hathaway, McDonald's, The Washington Post Company, Home Depot, H. J. Heinz Company, and The University of Notre Dame.
Table of Contents
Foreword Warren Buffett ix
Top of the List: Quit Taking Risks 11
Be Inflexible 25
Isolate Yourself 45
Assume Infallibility 59
Play the Game Close to the Foul Line 67
Don't Take Time to Think 81
Put All Your Faith in Experts and Outside Consultants 97
Love Your Bureaucracy 115
Send Mixed Messages 133
Be Afraid of the Future 151
Lose Your Passion for Work-for Life 173
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Substance: Very worthwhile information not only for business leaders and managers but for any type of project or relationship; especially applicable to politicians. Read in conjunction with Phil Vischer's biography "Me, Myself, and Bob" to see many of the "failure principles" in action. Reverses Tolstoy's dictum that (paraphrasing) happy families are all happy in the same way, and unhappy ones in many different ways. Keough says that there are many paths to success, but most failures incorporate his ten rules.Style: Casual and informative.Notes: The Ten Commandments for failure are: Quit taking risks, be inflexible, isolate yourself, assume infallibility, play the game close to the foul line, don't take time to think, put all your faith in experts and outside consultants, love your bureaucracy, send mixed messages, be afraid of the future, (#11) lose your passion for work and for life.Note that being flexible is good, but not if it includes waffling on your principles (and know what those are).
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The book is roughly all about what you shouldn't do in business and it keeps your reading because it is just so ironic. It has great insight on what you shouldn't do in your own business, personal or large business. I personally used it for my research paper and I thought it was great to use. i really could have used it for most of my paper but I chose not, because now that would be plagiarizing. Good book and I recommend it for all you business readers.