—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.”
From Publishers Weekly
A former president of the Coca-Cola Company, Keough has assembled an enviable Rolodex in his 81 years, and his book counts Bill Gates, Jack Welch and Warren Buffett among its champions. His lessons draw upon his long and varied career—from his early days as a philosophy major to his first job as a TV sports announcer and employment at Butternut Coffee and Coca-Cola—and comprise a list of tongue-in-cheek rules guaranteed to make the follower a true loser in business: from quit taking risks and be inflexible to don't take time to think and be afraid of the future. Keough supports his commandments with stories of business mistakes and failures, both his own—the roll-out of New Coke, for example—and those of others—namely, Schlitz beer and IBM. While the author's clear and encouraging tone and renown within the business community will likely garner his effort publicity, the unoriginality of the material—all standard business-book fare simply phrased in the negative—keeps this well-meaning book from standing out or offering original advice to business leaders in the market for a little self-improvement. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."