It’s quite common to find business leaders dispensing advice about what it takes to be successful. But it takes a genius to recognize that, in business and life, what needs to be investigated is not what works, but what fails. Don’s lifetime experience in business made him realize the same and he shares the lessons in this book.
They say you should never judge a book by its cover. It’s a good rule of thumb about what not to do.
So how do you judge if a book is worth reading or not? I agree, it’s a difficult question to answer but if you find a book, which starts with a foreword from Warren Buffett, there is no question about whether to read it or not. Don Keough’s The 10 Commandments of Business Failure is one such book. This is what Buffett says about the author –
It has been an article of faith for me that I should always try to hang out with people who are better than I. When I am with Don Keough, I can feel myself on the up escalator…He’s an incredible business leader…Don talks such sense and offers such inspiration…he is one of the very few guys I feel I can hand the keys over to.
Keough worked in The Coca Cola Company for close to 40 years and retired from the post of president and CEO. So even if Buffett hadn’t endorsed him, it would still be a huge mistake to miss a book written by a person who ran one of the most iconic companies of the last century.
It’s quite common to find business leaders dispensing advice about what it takes to be successful, expounding on the secret sauce of success. But it takes a genius to recognize that, in business and life, what needs to be investigated is not what works, but what fails. Don’s lifetime experience in business made him realize the same.
So instead of developing a step-by-step formula for success, he came up with commandments for failure. Don writes in the introduction of his book –
…I give you these ten commandments and with them comes the assurance that if you carefully follow one or more you will fail, or at least have a head start on the downward path to ultimate failure…view this little book as a cautionary tale. If you find yourself a disciple of one or more of these commandments, watch out. You are on your way to failure and taking your company with you.
These commandments are especially useful at the time when the going is good. It’s at the times of success that people lower their guards, develop vulnerability and make way for the seeds of failure.
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