22 July 2010

What's been on my nightstand these days? LEAD LIKE IKE, by Geoff Loftus

...well, besides my Bible?

I recently picked out a different-for-me-kind-of-book to read - Lead Like Ike: Ten Business Strategies for the CEO of D-Day. Author Geoff Loftus takes a detailed look at Dwight Eisenhower's management strategies as the commander-in-charge, responsible for leading the Allied forces, first in North Africa and the Mediterranean, then at the Normandy invasion, and finally as they crossed Europe to defeat Germany. Examining those strategies and situations, he extrapolates, identifying ten effective tactics necessary for effective, competitive leadership in the world of business and industry.

In general, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and looking at key events and campaigns as well as little known World War II occurences from a different perspective, that of the CEO,d through reading it. The different anecdontes and examples, real stories of Eisenhower's leadership strategies, challenges, successes and failures were fascinating and their valuable application to the business world, or to anyone who finds themselves in a position of leadership (i.e. pastors, teachers, parents) was easy to see. I not only learned about the war; I was also challenged to consider my default tactics for the many times I am in a position of guiding and managing people.

It did take me a long time, however, to truly get interested in the book, primarily because in his attempt to validate the application of Eisenhower's leadership strategies to the business world, Loftus looked at and continually referred to strategic command as a huge corporation, D-Day, Inc. The terminology and repeated references tried my patience until I was thoroughly hooked into the story of how Eisenhower handled himself in his difficult and challenging position. Because of that, when asked to rate the book, I give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quotes:
  • "The doctrine of opportunism, so often applicable in tactics, is a dangerous one to pursue in strategy." ~ Eisenhower, in Crusade in Europe
  • "Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends." ~ Eisenhower
  • "...an ounce of motivation is worth a pound of monitoring." ~ Loftus
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Book Sneeze as part of their Book Review Blogger 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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