Soundview Executive Book Summaries


From the Battlefield to the Boardroom

… And so it was settled. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the combatants entered into armistice and the curtain fell on the “War to End All Wars.”

Of course, we realize that such hopes were not to be. Were that truly the end of the story, the mere mention of places such as Normandy, Guadalcanal, Incheon, Khe Sanh, Baghdad and Kabul would not invoke solemn reflection on the part of Americans. Whether in field or forest, dense jungle or cloudy sky, churning sea or burning sand, American men and women have sweated and sacrificed, with many paying the ultimate price in their tireless defense of liberty and the principles of democracy. Today is a day to remember and give heartfelt thanks, but it should not stand alone on the calendar. As they are ever vigilant in their duty, so should we be fervent in our gratitude.

The fact that veterans populate so many of the boardrooms of American corporations means there is an interesting link between the military and the world of business. While critics debate the validity and tastefulness of comparing dollars and cents to life and death on the battlefield, many authors are willing to undertake the examination. One cannot argue with the military’s track record as it applies to leadership, execution of strategy and inspiring individuals to the highest levels of personal performance.

I receive a fair number of these books as they hit the market and I’m generally impressed with them. Leadership, in particular, is a topic which most executives would do well to look to the military for advice. In addition, I’ve found that the military is a key resource on the subject of accountability. One branch of the Armed Forces in particular seems to draw a large percentage of attention for the effectiveness of its training and strategy execution. If you’re looking for a unique insight from experts in efficiency, any of the above titles is highly recommended.

On this Veterans Day, one which is especially solemn in light of recent events, take a moment and give thanks to the men and women who served. I know I will.

 

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