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The Unwritten Laws of Business [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

James G. Skakoon , W.J. King , Alan Sklar
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.15
Price: 12.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2007
It's a little book with a big history. In the summer of 2005, the magazine Business 2.0 published a cover story on a self-published management pamphlet by William Swanson, CEO of American aerospace contractor Raytheon. Lauded by chief executives including Jack Welch and Warren Buffett, it became a quiet phenomenon, and more than 300,000 people wrote in to the magazine to ask for a copy. But much of the pamphlet drew from a business book of 1944 - which Profile are now reissuing, revised and updated, as The Unwritten Laws of Business. Filled with sage advice and written in a clear, engaging style, it offers insights on working with others, reporting to a boss, running meetings, advancing your career, and much, much more: If you have no intention of using someone's opinion, don't ask for it; It's natural enough to 'look out for Number One', but your associates won't look out for you; If you take care of your present job well, the future will take care of itself. And more - all of which has also stood the test of time.Refreshingly free of the latest business jargon, The Unwritten Laws of Business is wise, ethical and insightful, capturing and distilling the timeless truths and principles that underlie management and business the world over.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400103460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400103461
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 1.7 x 0.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,818,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review old-school reminder of business and personal integrity...which every manager should read for a quick detox. (Publishing News)

Read this! (Guardian)

Sound advice...its age gives it a pleasant formality that sits in stark contrast to many of the bullet-pointed lists of anecdotes that pass as business writing today. (The Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Pocket-sized reissue of the bestselling business classic with a new introduction by Marshall Goldsmith in an elegant collectable package --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrinkled Wisdon 14 Aug 2009
I discovered this book when I was in my 60's. I have worked at all levels of business from the shop floor to the boardroom. I only wish someone had given me this book when I was in my 20's, I would have benefited enormously from its pearls of wisdom. Therefore, if you are a young businessperson just setting buy it, read it and learn. If you in your prime buy it for a young person whom you admire and want to see get on, but read it first you may still learn something as I did.

Bob Yorke CEO RWY Consultants Warrington 2009
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
This book of short rules or "unwritten laws" harks back to 1944, when W.J. King, a mechanical engineer, penned a pamphlet of management advice for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In an era when most training happened on the job - if at all - this must have been a welcome guide. The little book has a big history. In 2005, the cover of Business 2.0 magazine featured a self-published pamphlet called Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management. The author, Raytheon CEO William H. Swanson, basked in success after Jack Welch and Warren Buffett lauded his business homilies. But, public exposure revealed the influence King's little-known 1940s manual had on Swanson's work, which drew some rules from the older booklet. Although most of the 61 adages are familiar, even trite, they bear reviewing in their new official format, as revised by engineer James G. Skakoon at ASME's request. The ideas may be old, but they seem relevant. Only the mode of communication is frozen in time, since King and Skakoon don't mention e-mails, cell phones or PCs. Their advice ranges from hot-button topics, such as ethics and fair, firm management, to quaint references to personal hygiene. Even if you've heard these old reliable rules before, look again with an open mind. We promise there's a chestnut here for everyone.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 30 Minutes of Reading, a Lifetime of Good Advice 13 April 2007
By Miami Bob - Published on
Basically, as a 50-year old professional, this book delivers little of what I have not already learned through trial and error.

This book allows you to learn without the scar tissue which I have accumulated from my "trial and error" travails.

Had someone come to me with this book when I was young -- when I intentionally continued to live in my world (by stealth) in order not to heed to the advice of my elders and continued to avoid their prophetic advice -- I would have been much better informed.

My recommenddation for AARP-card carrying members like myself, get a young'un to deliver this common sensical verse of advice at the young and restless person's door step (God forbid a gray-haired geezer be the deliverer of this book of truisms); and, then pray that the easily read words written therein somehow can be absorbed -- even if only partly. This book only offers good advice, so the more taken -- the more good is given.

"Pass it on."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every College Graduate Should Buy This Book 11 Feb 2008
By A. Eckerman - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have been in business for over a decade and I live and breathe by many of the principles discussed in this book. I discovered these directives on my own through trial and error (mostly error) and from my numerous mentors. I certainly would have been better off if I had been exposed to this book as a graduate. The directives are quite simple but without them laid out in such simple terms and put into context most people would completely miss them. I will be purchasing this book for my kids their senior year of college.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything You Need To Know 11 May 2007
By Kerrie More - Published on
I loved this little gem of a book. It gently reminds us how to be a better employee or employer, but I think this advice ultimately can help us be better in ALL of our relationships. Imagine if we let our ethics be our assett with our friends, neighbors and family, as well as our supervisors and co-workers. The title does not do this book justice, because it is not just the business community who needs these lessons. Whether you serve ice cream at a local shop, superivse small children at a day-care, teach in a classroom, or manage a multi-million dollar corporation, this book is all you need to guide you. Buy multiple copies and give it to college graduates and high-school students applying for their first job. If you are a high school guidance counselor, teach it to your students. If you are a boss, give it to your employees when they are hired (and read your own copy again and again!). If you are an employee, keep it on your desk and look at it from time to time to remind you to be your best. Thank you Mr. King and Mr. Skakoon for your timeless wisdom.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Important Little Book 15 Oct 2007
By Thomas E. Engells - Published on
The book has a unique charm to it that will prompt many readers to revisit, reread and highlight sections throughout their careers.

The chief obstacles to career success are personal and administrative in nature with problems arising from the violation of the unwritten laws of professional conduct rather than errors relating directly to work. That was W.J. King's observation in 1944 and he expanded on that observation in a series of three articles for "Mechanical Engineering". That series of articles was published as a book The Unwritten Laws of Engineering. For some sixty years, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers published this book to an audience of mechanical engineers. The book was rescued from general obscurity by William H. Swanson, Raytheon's Chief Executive Officer. Swanson referenced this book in his famous pamphlet on corporate management. Effective career guidance has no expiration date and this book has been updated, retitled and published in the popular business press version.

The Unwritten Laws of Engineering became an underground classic and with more than 100,000 copies published over sixty years. This book was often given to new engineers at the beginning of their careers as helpful professional guidance. This "little big book" is straight forward in its approach and succinct in its guidance. This book of less than 110 pages is subdivided into three sections - "What the beginner needs to learn at once", "Relating chiefly to managers" and "Professional and personal considerations". What is affirming is that so many of these principles and laws outlined in 1944 for mechanical engineers remain true and pungent today for professionals.

Today's business literature is replete with list-driven works that will, reputedly, effectively address problems as varied as strategic planning to the effective use of e-mail. The "flavor of the month" approach has dominated much of the popular business literature as a whole. What is remarkable about the The Unwritten Laws of Business is that this small book may actually be read instead of just being prominently displayed on office bookshelves. The principles outlined in this work are certainly not new or especially novel to the experienced manager, for example:

If you have no intention of listening to, considering, and perhaps using someone's opinion don't ask for it.
The common belief that everyone can do anything if they just try hard enough is a formula for inefficiency at best and for complete failure at worst.
Never miss a chance to commend or reward subordinates for a job well done.

Even in our era, that is better known for its regulatory oversight and litigation, these principles and "unwritten laws" still ring true and clear. These laws are time tested and proven guides to professional and administrative behavior in large and small, public, private and non-profit organizations. Individual career success is situationally dependent and is often a complex undertaking; however, the application of these laws and principles will most certainly reduce both the frequency and magnitude of crisis in the early years of a professional career.

The book does earn its label as a little big book. It is an interesting and useful guide, although by design not a comprehensive guide to career success. It is a useful book for both the seasoned employee and the novice, alike and is a welcome addition to any professional's library.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teachers like it too . . . 10 May 2007
By Eliza A. Sorte - Published on
We recently read the book for our book club who has been together for over 10 years and it led to the longest most on task discussion to date. All of us in the book club, regardless of age or profession, share the common experience of having had a boss/supervisor, having been a boss/supervisor, and having had an interview. The information in the book reminded me of my dad's generation and the ethics and expectations he taught me that I wish were practiced by more today. In particular, the piece on integrity being an asset was a good reminder that only we can control our integrity and increase that asset or allow it to become a liability if misused. If all professionals took into consideration the "unwritten laws," work places would be much more productive, positive, and personally stimulating. As I continue in my career in education moving ever so quickly into administrative roles, I hope to use this book as beginning discussion point for creating workplace norms within the educational setting for teachers and administrators who sometimes feel outside the "business world" when really we are educational salespeople, classroom CEOs, and community managers. Great book with timeless information! Thanks to the original author as well as Jim Skakoon who only increased its value and readability.
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