“After a lifetime in business, I’ve never been able to develop a set of rules or a step-by-step formula that will guarantee success in anything, much less in a field as dynamic and changing as business. What I can do, however, is talk about how to lose. I guarantee that anyone who follows my formula will be a highly successful loser.”
The Ten Commandments for Business Failure is a lighthearted cautionary bible for leaders from a hugely admired elder statesman who is sought out for advice by a wide circle of luminaries. Plenty of speakers and writers are happy to dispense advice on how to succeed in business. From football coaches to ex-CEOs to psychologists to preachers, success gurus are everywhere. But none of them can offer any guarantees; the true path to success can’t be laid out as a simple step-by-step plan. The same cannot be said of failure, however. Failure is easy. In fact, there are ten serious blunders companies and individuals make over and over again, leading to failure so consistently that the list ought to be written in stone. Don Keough, who has seen and heard a lot in his six decade career, calls them his Ten Commandments for Business Failure. They include such reliable bad advice as Quit Taking Risks, Be Inflexible, Assume Infallibility, Put All Your Faith in Experts, and Be Afraid of the Future.