Today I will discuss with you the latest book I have read, “The Ten Commandments for Business Failure” by “Donald R. Keough“. The book which is written by former president of the Coca Cola Company, recommended by “Bill Gates” and “Jack Welch” and forwarded by “Warren Buffet”, was promising enough to be picked up from the store.  To be precise, the book stood to the all these recommendations.

Donald Keough has poured his vital experience of Coca Cola years into this book. This is the first management book I have read which had flow of a fiction book. You hardly feel like putting it down. Small stories bring great wisdom, moreover when these are witnesses by author himself.  Keough’s style of writing is compelling enough to convince you about the business wisdon you have already read at many places.

As author starts in the introduction:

” When I was asked to talk about how to win, my response was I couldn’t do that. What I could do, however, was to talk about how to lose and I offered a guarantee that anyone who followed my formula would be a highly successful loser.”

The book gives you ten (rather eleven) commandments for failure in Business, if you want to be successful, you need to be careful not to follow any of these.  Commandments are made of simple business wisdom such as “Quit taking risks“, “Assume infallibility” and “Don’t take time to think” and it also includes some of the new wisdom such as “Put all your faith in Experts” and “Send mixed messages“. Its not the advice which makes the book interesting, rather the way the advice is presented. Small stories, amusing quotes and author’s personal experience make it good and delightful read.

The book is humorous, compelling and entertaining enough for atleast one read, although I am going to read it again. I will repeat Jack Welch’s recommendation “A Must read for every leader” and I will further add ” A must read for anyone who aspires to be leader and learn from others mistake rather than making his own”.

I would definately recommned it and rate it 4 out of 5.

Now I will leave with you some of the parts of the book I liked:

A company doesn’t fail to do anything, Individuals do……

….Businesses are the product and the extension of the personal characteristics of its leaders – the lengthened shadows of the men and women who run them.”

“It’s human nature. I’ve got something. Why risk it? Who knows what’s on the other side of the mountain? Don’t go there!”

“Einstein said he needed in his office: a desk or a table, a chair, some pencils, paper, and a very large warebasket “for all the mistakes I will make.” “

“If a company never has a failure, I submit that their management is probably not discontented enough to justify their salaries.”

“When you’re comfortable, the temptation to quit taking risks is so great, it’d almost irresistible. And failure is almost inevitable.”

“It not only behooves us to treat our fellow human beings with compassion and respect, it is essential for our collective survival. Unethical men and women can flourish for periods, sometimes very long periods, but ultimately their lack of morality – and their lack of humility – destroys them. You cannot build a strong and lasting business on a rotten foundation.”

“If you want to get nothing done, make sure that administrative concerns take precedence over all others! Love your bureaucracy!…….Meetings are the religious service of a great bureaucracy and the bureaucrats are fervently religious…….. These meetings generate more paperwork, more e-mails, more calls, more meetings. In fact, most often there are meetings to plan meetings.”

“I have never met a successful person who did not express love for what he did and care about it passionately… they can’t imagine doing anything else. They seem almost crazy about it. “

There is lot more I will leave upon you to read finally a story author shares from his life, I liked it.

“In my teens, while working during the summer at the city stockyards, I got a offer becoming a bull buyer. A bull buyer was supposed to choose appropriate bull for slaughter from the bulls scattered all over the yard. After my first day on the job, he came by and asked to see what I’d bought. It turned out I’d paid too much for quite a few of the bulls. He reminded me that I was among salesmen and because of my young age, they would try to flatter me, be nice to me, distract me, but he pulled out a chart and said here’s exactly what you are looking for in a bull. No matter what anyone says, never deviate from these basic requirements of conformation. He said, “Watch the bull, not the man”.

That simple advice has stuck with me through my years in business even to this day”

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