REVOLUTIONARY STRATEGIES OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS: Leadership Lessons from America's Most Successful Patriots
Thorpe, author of How to Think like Einstein, now turns his eye to leadership à la 1776, combining the battles and major players of the Revolutionary War with current corporate examples to create a wide-ranging collection of lessons for managers. Thorpe says the struggle of the 18th-century colonists to free themselves from British rule is relevant to today's managers "because revolution is inescapable." Accordingly, he organizes the book's lessons into chapters loosely corresponding to the major considerations of revolutions, from, "Starting Your Revolution" to "The Endgame" and beyond. The sound-bite size of Thorpe's lessons are his book's most striking characteristic; he fits 145 lessons into 272 pages. Each lesson has a short title and a direct quote from a historical figure, followed by a two- to four-paragraph example drawn from the Revolutionary period and a one-paragraph corporate example, with a leadership lesson sandwiched in. Among the nuggets are "Defeat can show the way to victory," illustrated by the battle at Brandywine and Walt Disney's initial failure as a cartoonist, and "Individuals can make dramatic differences," just as John Hancock and company prevailed despite a weak government and as 19th-century financier George Peabody singlehandedly provided affordable housing for more than 20,000 of London's poor. The sheer number of lessons makes this a tough book to read cover to cover, but for quick inspiration, managers would do well to pick this up. (Apr.)
Forecast:Although a near-identical book exists (Warner's 1997 The Founding Fathers on Leadership), this one's timing and the current patriotic national attitude could attract browsers.