Friday, June 18, 2010

Lead Like Ike - a book review

Geoff Loftus has written a very readable book about Dwight Eisenhower, who organized and commanded the Allied forces in the European Theater during World War II. The goal of operations in Europe was the total defeat of the Axis (primarily Nazi Germany) forces and their unconditional surrender. This defeat hinged on the successful invasion of France, which we look back on as D-Day. This entire operation constitutes the largest and most complex human endeavor in history.

Loftus preserves the fundamentals of history, but approaches the situation as if Eisenhower were the CEO of a large, multinational corporation – D-Day, Inc. In this setting, Eisenhower had to deal with his board of directors (the political and military leaders of the Allied nations), his senior managers (senior subordinate military commanders and staff) and the shareholders (the military carrying out the mission and the civilian populations in all of the affected countries. By analyzing Eisenhower's decisions, his interactions both up and down the chain-of-command, and his basic character, Loftus identifies behaviors, attitudes and decisions that translate from Eisenhower's wartime experience to the business world of today.

I found this book a winner on at least two fronts. First, it carries out its aim of using a huge military operation as a metaphor for business. Second, it makes an important part of our history come alive in a way a standard history might not. In addition, people who may never pick up a book of pure history of either WWII or Eisenhower may well pick up a book about business strategies.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

No comments:

Post a Comment