Ten Commandments for Business Failure Book Summary

On inflexibility, infallibility, fouls, and more from D. R. Keough with foreword by Warren Buffett.

Ten Commandments for Business Failure Book Summary

In Ten Commandments for Business Failure, Donald R. Keough offers valuable lessons on what not to do in order to succeed in business. Drawing from his experiences as a former Coca-Cola president, Keough provides readers with a humorous yet insightful guide on the common pitfalls that often plague organizations. These “commandments” serve as a roadmap for business leaders to learn from others’ mistakes and avoid making their own, covering topics such as the importance of risk-taking, flexibility, clear communication, and maintaining passion for work and life.

The Commandments

  1. Quit Taking Risks (be up for challenge and discontent with the status quo)
  2. Be Inflexible (don’t be dismissively stubborn)
  3. Isolate Yourself (talk to variety of people, but take time to think - see below)
  4. Assume Infallibility (admit problems and look for them)
  5. Play the Game Close to the Foul Line (do the right thing with a big margin)
  6. Don’t Take Time to Think (dedicate time to distraction free thinking)
  7. Put All Your Faith in Experts and Outside Consultants (focus on fundamentals over hype)
  8. Love Your Bureaucracy (red tape to the minimum)
  9. Send Mixed Messages (communicate simply and clearly - objectives, marketing)
  10. Be Afraid of the Future (avoid pessimism)
  11. Lose Your Passion for Work - for Life (connect emotionally with customers, employees, dreams)

Yes, there are 11 of them, I was surprised as well :).

Created on 12 Dec 2021. Updated on: 12 Apr 2023.
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