Jan 042006

Book Short: Fables and Morals

Book Short:  Fables and Morals

Courtesy of my colleague Stephanie Miller, I had a quick holiday read of Aesop & The CEO: Powerful Business Lessons from Aesop and America’s Best Leaders, by David Noonan, which I enjoyed.  The book was similar in some ways to Squirrel, Inc., which I recently posted about, in that it makes its points by allegory and example (and not that it’s relevant, but that it relies on animals to make its points).

Noonan takes a couple dozen of Aesop’s ancient Greek fables and groups them in to categories like Rewards & Incentives, Management & Leadership, Strategy, HR, Marketing, and Negotiations & Alliances – and for each one, he gives modern-day management examples of the lessons.

For example, in the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, the lesson clearly is to strike while the iron is hot, or that a good plan executed today is better than a perfect one that’s too late.  Noonan gives the example of Patton’s capture of Messina, Sicily during World War II.

And in The Hare & The Tortoise, where of course the moral is that slow & steady wins the race, Noonan gives the example of how New York Knicks coach Rick Pitino inspired Mark Jackson, who was chosen 18th in the NBA draft, to win the rookie of the year award in 1987 by helping him gain confidence by building on his strengths.

All in, a good read, even with that painful reminder that the Knicks used to have a decent basketball team.

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