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Aesop and the CEO: Powerful Business Lessons from Aesop and America's Best Leaders [Hardcover]

By David Noonan (Author)
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Item description for Aesop and the CEO: Powerful Business Lessons from Aesop and America's Best Leaders by David Noonan...

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of business books flooding the market today. Even more daunting is the task of weeding through them to find the "golden nugget" of wisdom inside. Now David Noonan has simplified the process by providing this well-researched primer of the most essential advice from the greatest business books ever written. Further, in a clever melding of modern business sense and ancient wisdom, he has used the animal-based stories of Aesop as springboards to launch these 50 lessons. Both entertaining and informative, Aesop the CEO includes advice from well-known leaders such as Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Donald Trump, and Lee Iacocca. The short, easy-to-read vignettes cover every aspect of corporate life: negotiations, hiring and firing, mergers and acquisitions, marketing and sales, and day-to-day management.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.6" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2005
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0785260102  
ISBN13  9780785260103  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Noonan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jesse Decker has written numerous articles in relation to the D&D game, and his most recent design credits include the" D&D Arms and Equipment Guide(TM) "and" Unearthed Arcana(TM)."
David Noonan works full-time in the Wizards of the Coast R&D department. His most recent credits include the "D&D"" accessory Complete Warrior(TM)," the "Urban Arcana Campaign Setting(TM)," and "Unearthed Arcana(TM).."

David Noonan currently resides in Hanover, in the state of Massachusetts.

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1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > General
2Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Management & Leadership > Leadership

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Reviews - What do customers think about Aesop and the CEO: Powerful Business Lessons from Aesop and America's Best Leaders?

Morals From The Past Needed In Today's World.  Jan 13, 2006
This is such a novel idea of using a simple moral from one of the two hundred published fables written by Aesop and applying it to fairly recent situations, adjusting to modern times. David Noonan did a remarkable job of pairing the appropriate fable with its corresponding moral to a short story of his own from today's business world with his own "business moral."

The biographical history behind Aesop's Fables, thought to have been intended as children's easy-to-understand literature is what caught my attention. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Even though he gave the animals human traits, as C. S. Lewis did in THE NARDIA CHRONICLES, they were meant for adults and gained wide recognition as they were passed along for centuries through oral (word of moutn, as many of his companions could not read) tradition. His start in life was lowly, born into slavery in 620 B.C. as a hunchback with a speech impediment. His early years were spent on the Balkan Peninsula, a part of Turkey, where "slaves toiled hard as miners, plantation workers, or if they were lucky, household servants. It was possible [then] for a slave to earn freedom (called manumission) through diligent work and loyal service." Freed slaves were permitted to "engage in civic affairs and to travel wherever they wanted."

Aesop served two masters during his enslavement, but was eventually granted his freedom because of his "intelligence, wit and tact as a servant." As he traveled and observed how underlings were treated, he began his story-telling (with morals) and, after a time, "his reputation grew as a wise and 'noble' man." He went to Sardis in Asia Minor where the King sent him on diplomatic missions to Athens and Corinth, and he used his fables to calm tensions. Because of his keen mind, tactfulness and honesty, the King trusted him to distribute a large amount of gold fairly to the citizens of Delphi, which at that time was "the home of the Oracle and the most influential religious sanctuary in ancient Greece." He was unjustly murdered by being thrown off a cliff around 560 B.C.

The people of Delphi eventually atoned and made amends for their crime against Aesop. "Lysippus, a famous Greek sculptor, immortalized the fabulist by erecting a statue to him in Athens." In 300 B.C., two hundred of his fables were compiled in written form as ASSEMBLIES OF AESOP'S FABLES. "Three centuries later, another freed Greek slave named Phaedrus translated the collection of stories into Latin for a much broader audience. About AD 230, a Greek poet named Valerius Babrius combined fables from India with their Greek counterparts and published the entire collection of tales in the most widely read set of fables in world literature today and provides the context for the business tales" in this book.

And so, the forty-seven varied short stories included in this small volume are not all about companies, business conflcits and management; he also writes about war ("General Patton storms Sicily," "The best ship in the U. S. Navy...." and Colin Powell gets an uneasy feelin in Tehran"), sports, celebrities (Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, and Paul Harvey respectively), and politics ("The Founding Fathres make France an ally"). My favorite was about Lee Iacocca and his boss, Henry Ford II in 1975: "You can sit and wait and hope the situation improves, which is most people's first impulse, or you can make the first move and request a transfer or get another job before the ax fall." Business Moral: "Don't sit back and do nothing..."

"The world of business has changed enormously since Aesop's time, but people haven't. Now more than ever, there is a need for strong, ethical leadership and efficient management at every company level. Now more than ever, good people must step up and reaffirm that integrity, honesty, and goodness are as critical to a business' survival as a strong bottom line. So what better time than now in this post-Enron world to reintroduce the lessons taught by Aesop almost six hundred years before Christ?
"Strunk & White" meets "The Tipping Point"  Apr 11, 2005
This little masterpiece of a book is an absolute gem. Marketed as a business book, Noonan has taken a very clever premise -- using the "wisdom" inherent in Aesop's familiar fairy tales -- and structured a book dense with wisdom and extremely entertaining and thought-provoking stories and anecdotes.

Similar to the classic The Elements of Style, which very concisely tells you everything you need to know about grammar and writing, "Aesop and the CEO" succinctly addresses the entire realm of business: hiring and firing, employee rewards, marketing, sales, etc. Each topic is kept to a page or two, and Noonan presents the nugget front and center: no searching required. The true genius of the book is how an animal-based story from 2000 years ago is paired with a current, well-known business figure (Sam Walton, Bill Gates, Howard Johnson, Donald Trump, etc.) through which it becomes clear that truths are timeless, although the names change.

This much alone would have resulted in a book that is well worth the modest price. But what made the book so memorable to me were the compelling vignettes, anecdotes, and stories that were used to provide context to the lessons. Similarly to The Tipping Point, a book with an interesting premise that was made so much more vivid and memorable through the use of great story-telling, Noonan's tome has catapulted itself from being "merely" a business book to an instruction manual about life itself by its master storytelling. It is quite simply a suberb effort.

This book is not the last we will hear from Mr. Noonan, I suspect. [Nor is it the first: he also co-authored a textbook called Groundwater Remediation and Petroleum (no doubt a best seller!)] I for one cannot wait for his next effort.
Ancient Lessons Hold True  Apr 1, 2005
David Noonan's latest work is brilliant in concept and execution. Noonan has dusted off the 2000+ year old fables of Aesop, accomplished the scholarly research, and demonstrated in a succint yet very readable style that the wisdom of ancients holds true today. A "must read" for students and practitioners of leadership.
Within Its Genre, a Brilliant Achievement  Mar 25, 2005
Within the limits of this genre which Noonan clearly recognizes, his book is far superior to so many others which also use a prominent historical figure as a source of business wisdom. (For example, Caligula on Values-Driven Leadership.) He carefully organizes his material within nine sections and employs the same format for each. In "Winning Business Strategies," for example, he examines seven of Aesop's fables in terms of (a) a contemporary CEO and/or company and (b) the key lesson to be learned from that fable:

"The Lion, the Bear, and the Fox": Michael Dell demonstrates that sometimes new opportunities exist even in a fiercely competitive society.

"The Fox and the Cat": Dunkin Donuts demonstrates that an organization should not be distracted from what it does best.

"The Fox and the Lion": The success of a small hardware store in direct competition with Home Depot demonstrates that, sometimes, it is both sensible and prudent to find ways to cooperate with the competition.

"The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing": General Patton's invasion of Italy demonstrates that a sound plan executed today is preferable to a perfect plan that's too late.

"The Ant and the Grasshopper": W. Edwards Deming's first principle of management demonstrates that effective long-term planning is the key to survival and eventual success.

"The Farmer and His Sons": Warren Bennis' use of Avis Rent a Car demonstrates that having an appropriate vision will enable everyone involved to know the business inside and out.

Finally, "The Eagle and the Beetle": Ulysses S. Grant's attack on Fort Donelson demonstrates the importance of determining how to get ahead of the competition...and then stay there.

Note the variety of situations, yes, but also the diversity of focal points which range from Dell through Patton and Deming to Grant. The same can be said of each of the other sections. Who else has identified correlations between "The Donkey Eating Thistles" and Mary Kay Ash, Peggy Noonan, and Sumner Redstone? Between "The Fox and the Crow" and Dale Carnegie and Paul Harvey? Between "The Fox and the Goat" and [The] Donald Trump? Highly entertaining material, to be sure, and certainly cleverly presented. However, the business lessons (albeit obvious) are worthy of reiteration and seem so much more vital when each is anchored within an unexpected context.

To David Noonan I now offer an appreciative "Well-done!"
Thought provoking and enjoyable  Feb 28, 2005
As an avid reader of business and management-oriented titles, I found Aesop and the CEO thoroughly engaging. The central concept draws parallels between Aesop's timeless fables and case studies from the modern business cannon, illuminating some simple truths found in both.

Aesop and the CEO covers a broad range of subjects, in easy to digest chapters. I personally enjoyed the sections on management, leadership and motivation. It was unusual to find "lessons learned" by business, political, sports and cultural leaders (including Mary K. Ash, Rudolph Giuliani, Ulysses S. Grant, Edward Deming, the Beatles and a local hardware store) all in one volume. The book is uniformly well written and a fast read.

The "morals" drawn from Aesop's stories and the business cases recounted in each chapter are widely applicable to today's social, business, civic and professional endeavors. These lessons will stimulate the reader's personal re-evaluation of past experiences and provide a richer perspective for future decision making.

This book is appropriate for for the casual reader seeking a refresher on some of life's simple truths, the experienced manager searching for insights on unifying and motivating teams, and marketers or senior executives charged with defining strategic direction for their product line or business.

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