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Xenophon's Cyrus the Great: The Arts of Leadership and War (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 2. Mai 2007

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Pressestimmen

""Xenophone's Cyrus"--the earliest book on the subject--is still the best book on leadership." --Peter F. Drucker

"Xenophone's Cyrus"--the earliest book on the subject--is still the best book on leadership. Peter F. Drucker"

Xenophone's Cyrus--the earliest book on the subject--is still the best book on leadership. Peter F. Drucker"

"Xenophone's Cyrus--the earliest book on the subject--is still the best book on leadership." --Peter F. Drucker

Synopsis

In 1906, a stilted English translation of "Xenophon of Athens", story about Cyrus the Great's military campaigns was published. Now, a century later, a much more accessible edition of one of history's most extraordinary and successful leaders is emerging. Among his many achievements, this great leader of wisdom and virtue founded and extended the Persian Empire; conquered Babylon; freed 40,000 Jews from captivity; wrote mankind's first human rights charter; and ruled over those he had conquered with respect and benevolence. According to historian Will Durant, Cyrus the Great's military enemies knew that he was lenient, and they did not fight him with that desperate courage which men show when their only choice is "to kill or die." As a result the Iranians regarded him as "The Father," the Babylonians as "The Liberator," the Greeks as the "Law-Giver," and the Jews as the "Anointed of the Lord." By freshening the voice, style and diction that Xenophon ascribed to Cyrus, Larry Hedrick has created a more contemporary Cyrus.

A new generation of readers, including business executives and managers, military officers, and government officials, can now learn about and benefit from Cyrus the Great's extraordinary achievements, which exceeded all other leaders' throughout antiquity.

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13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Nip Ill-Advised Plans in the Bud 11. Juni 2014
Von John W. Pearson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I'm often asked to recommend my top leadership or management book. So, almost on autopilot, I hit play and blather the following:

"It's impossible to pick one leadership book. Everyone's at different levels of experience and need. That's why you need 20 management buckets--and dozens of niche leadership books. Blah...blah...blah."

Then (gulp) this past January I read and reviewed The Practical Drucker: Applying the Wisdom of the World's Greatest Management Thinker, by William A. Cohen. Here is Peter Drucker's response to that question: "the first systematic book on leadership--the Kyropaidaia by Xenophon, himself no mean leader of men--is still the best book on the subject."

Kyropaidaia (or Cyropaedia) was also known as Cyrus the Great (c. 580 - 529 B.C.). Cyrus founded the Persian Empire in the sixth century B.C. by uniting the Medes and the Persians, the two original Iranian tribes. His empire "extended from India to the Mediterranean Sea and was the most powerful state in the world until its conquest two centuries later by Alexander the Great."

What did Drucker see in this remarkable figure? "The great Persian's astonishing military successes and mild rule provided just the kind of raw material that Xenophon needed to fashion his portrait of a human paragon."

Fortunately, Larry Hedrick, a former air force officer and military historian, has edited Xenophon's work (c. 431 - 355 B.C.) and crafted a stunning, page-turner leadership treatise.

Five chapters in the Old Testament, Ezra 1-5, salute the generosity of Cyrus the Great for liberating the Jews from Babylon and for his generous gifts for the temple in Jerusalem. According to Hedrick, the Iranians regard Cyrus as "The Father," the Babylonians as "the Liberator," the Greeks as "The Law-Giver," and the Jews as "The Anointed of the Lord" (see Isaiah 45).

So why did Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, call Xenophon's book (written 100 years after Cyrus died) "the best book on leadership?"

Start with more than 140 you-gotta-read-these subtitles (inserted into Xenophon's new abridged edition by Hedrick):
* Inspire Your People with an Enticing Vision of a New Order
* Know When to Keep Your Own Counsel
* Err on the Side of Self-Reliance
* Obedience Should Not Be the Result of Compulsion
* Imagining Disaster May Save You from Tragedy
* Exude Confidence, Not Anxiety
* Recognize the Inevitability of Conflict

And those are just samples from the first 33 pages. Cyrus the Great was a life-long learner--with unusual wisdom. "Let us remember our forefathers," he preached to his warriors, "but let us no longer exaggerate their virtues."

And this from Cyrus' father: "If you wish to be thought a good estate manager, or a good horseman, or a good physician, or a good flute player without really being one, just imagine all the tricks you have to invest just to keep up appearances. You might succeed at first, but in the end you're going to be exposed as an imposter."

Delivered like the off-camera color commentaries popular on TV sitcoms today, Cyrus' frank assessment of both allies and enemies is instructive--this one on Syazarees, his uncle: "He seemed only half awake to the extraordinary responsibilities of his office, and he exuded far more anxiety than confidence."

So Xenophon (channeled in modern leadership/management lingo by Hedrick) paints a leadership masterpiece with both subtle tones and bold smash-face war scenes. Whew! (Not what I was expecting!)

Most of my reading colleagues tilt towards the skinny management books, not 295-page tomes. But this is neither.

This is readable. This is exciting. Leadership, coaching, mentoring, innovation, psychology, motivation, crisis management, social styles, cultural hiccups. Plus: stunning acts of kindness. And generosity--AMAZING generosity. The case studies in generosity (on and off the battlefield) will shock you. Wow. Here's Cyrus on his favorite subject:

"Allow me to pause and emphasize this general rule: Success always calls for greater generosity--though most people, lost in the darkness of their own egos, treat it as an occasion for greater greed."

There's wisdom and insight on almost every page. More subtitles:
* Brevity Is the Soul of Command
* Address Different Audiences with Different Emphases
* Minimize Distinctions of Rank
* Create a Psychological Advantage by Seizing the Initiative
* Nip Ill-Advised Plans in the Bud
* Counter Demoralizing Words with Reasoned Argument
* Understand the Motivations of Your Followers
* Overconfidence Has Been the Undoing of Many
* Defeat the Foeman Known as Envy
* Convince Your People of the Benefits of Change
* Blessed Are Those Who Take the Initiative

There. These teasers should be enough for you to hit "purchase" at Amazon. But really--if Peter Drucker said it's "still the best book on leadership," what more do you need?
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Good read, but not exactly what I was looking for... 26. März 2017
Von David - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I rarely rate things with 3 stars, so I feel as though I must really explain myself.
This has been a great read. If you enjoyed Sun Tzu's "The Art of War," then you would probably like this. That being said, the two are written very differently.
I have read an few translations of Sun Tzu's works, but none is as easy to read as this copy of "Cyrus the Great." The editor, Larry Hedrick, took some liberties to make this book easier to read but also made it less true to the original text. Chief among these liberties is Hedrick re-writing the text in first person (from Cyrus's perspective, not Xenophon's). Hedrick notes this change in the beginning of the book, but this text was not advertised as being such.
I have enjoyed reading this book, but because it has been so altered, I feel the need to buy another copy which is truer to the original text. That is my reason for rating this book 3/5 stars.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great story, Quick read 2. Oktober 2014
Von lmelton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Great story, Quick read...
I don't know whether this is factual. I know that it is abridged and probably mistranslated over the centuries. These are minor issues regarding the validity of this book. Cyrus II lived. He created an empire. He released the Jews from their Babylonian captivity (the reggae tune on YouTube, "By the Rivers of Babylon," attests to the event as it paraphrases the psalm). I like best Hedrick's/Xenophon's characterization of Cyrus as a sympathetic, high touch/high task manager and leader. He comes across as humble, modest, caring and human. He is honest and circumspect in his calculations and manipulations. Managers in today's cynical business world would do well to emulate some of Cyrus's kinder traits.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Insightful and Inspirational 24. November 2009
Von Sajid - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Xenophon's account of Cyrus's expedition and conquests is great. He portrays a man inspired by God (though Xenophon has him worshipping other gods too, some historians have pointed out that Cyrus actually believed in one God from a young age, after converting to Judaism). Further weight is given to this by the fact that some Islamic scholars believe God is referring to Cyrus in Sura Al-Kahf of the Quran, when God mentions a conquest undertaken by a believer called Dhul-Qurnain (The Two Horned - as translated in English).

The book may weigh down the interest of those who are not interested in military strategy, as some sections lean quite heavily towards that direction. However the last few chapters are just gold, leaving you with that warm, happy feeling as Cyrus leaves this world. The advice on principles of life imparted by Cyrus in the last few chapters are very insightful and speak to humans of all ages. He was truly a very insightful and ambitious man. As a previous reviewer has pointed out, the book portrays Cyrus as being an elitist whereas he had read in a history book of Cyrus being raised up by shepherds and being a man of the people. Im not sure which is correct, but Xenophons account is not a literal historical account of the man I believe, but more so a recount of the lasting legacy and impact he had as a leader to a land as far away as Greece, where Xenophon lived.

All in all it is a great account by Xenophon, with many insightful and inspirational one liners and principles, which really can be applied in all situations of life.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Very inspiring 25. April 2013
Von Robert Decell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book, while providing great instruction for leadership is far more. It teaches lessons on every aspect of successful living.

Cyrus feared God and loved truth. He advocated healthy living, the golden rule and so on. What made him great was his ability to remain humble, just, and God fearing even though he possessed great power.

The world has benefited greatly by using his principles in their own charters, constitutions, etc. Regrettably we are currently straying from them.

The great message of this book is that true unlimited power is attained by wanting to lift and help others . . . giving them opportunities to learn, enjoy freedom, grow and be successful. But people have to do their part and overcome dangers of idleness, envy and lust.

This book is a treasure. I will read it again and again.
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