If you ever wondered why so many chief executives cite Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as a seminal influence, two new-ish business books may fill you with fear.
First up is Be More Pirate: Or How To Take Over The World And Win by Sam Conniff Allende, the cofounder and former chief executive of youth led creative network Livity who is now a consultant on purpose-driven strategy for brands including Google, Unilever, Red Bull and Dyson.
“From rogues to role models: Be More Pirate reveals the radical strategies of Golden Age pirates, and updates them into clear solutions for making your mark on the 21st century,” says the publishing guff.
“Be More Pirate draws parallels between the strategy and innovation of legends like Henry Morgan with modern day rebels, like Elon Musk, Malala and Blockchain, and reveals how to apply their tactics to life and work today.“
Morgan, of course, was the 17th-century Caribbean pirate and privateer renowned as one of the most successful pirates of all time who made it all the way from his Welsh birthplace to plunder Spain’s Caribbean colonies and end up being deputy governor of Jamaica.
He lives on with Captain Morgan rum, which was named after him in 1944, but probably didn’t invent Conniff Allende’s belief in breaking and remaking rules to make things better, fairer or faster, collaboration as a secret weapon that allows underdogs to beat the odds and “modern mutinies, where well placed mischief has changed the way we work.”
Still, the book jacket features quotes from business luminaries including Lastminute.com cofounder Martha Lane-Fox, while the words inside apparently provide an overlooked generation that faces “a self-interested establishment, certain uncertainty, a broken system and industrial scale redundancy and disruption” with “long-term solutions in a short-term world.”
Then there is Target: Business wisdom from the ancient Japanese martial art of Kyudo by Jerome Chouchan, managing director of Godiva Chocolatier for Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Kyudo, an ancient martial art of archery that originated from the samurai class of feudal Japan, has a core teaching that “right shooting always results in a hit,” which Chouchan, who has practiced the art for 25 years and is a director of the International Kyudo Federation, views as particularly applicable to business.
“It means that you shouldn’t worry about simply hitting the target,” he writes.
“Instead, you should focus your energy and will-power on proper mindset and form. In doing so, this ‘right shooting’ will naturally result in a hit.
“In our companies, we are all under the pressure of profit margins, sales targets, efficiency and relationships.
“The philosophy of Kyudo gives us new perspectives and solutions to the struggles and worries that anyone can fall prey to in their business and career.”
Two early stocking fillers for the would-be entrpreneurs you love.
Just be warned: equipping the new pirates with bows and arrows might result in rather more than you had bargained for.
Original article in Forbes