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If Aristotle Ran General Motors by Tom…

If Aristotle Ran General Motors

by Tom Morris

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1903101,093 (4.06)4
Since its hardcover publication in 1997, If Aristotle Ran General Motors has been one of the year's most talked about books, not only in the United States but around the world, where it has been translated into many languages. Author Tom Morris has emerged as one of America's most popular motivational speakers, bringing his inspirational message of ancient wisdom in modern business to thousands of employees at major companies like AT&T and Merrill Lynch. In 1998 Morris will give more than 100 keynote speeches at corporate seminars to further establish If Aristotle Ran General Motors as a must-read for anyone doing business today.… (more)



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Morris attempts to bridge an interesting divide. While the recent events in major companies across the country highlight more than ever the need for a renewed interest in the study of ethical behavior, the bridge presented here, while unique, accomplishes the goal in a convincing fashion.

The wisdom of the ancients (and some not so ancients) applied to modern business problems is a novel approach. Business, and just about any other form of modern management, typically has a myopic focus. The only focus is earning a profit. When financial security is the primary focus, every moral and ethical obligation soon becomes flawed to achieve that end.

To circumvent this attraction to flawed logic, another focus must be determined. If an entity, be it an individual or a transnational corporation, shifts its focus from earning a profit, to reaching for the ancient principles found in philosophy – truth, beauty, goodness, and unity – the actions preformed by that entity will still lead to a profit (at least in most cases) but will do so without violating moral obligations.

This book, in fact, illustrates the need for a liberal arts education. It is not enough for students to learn how to balance a ledger, or to create a marketing campaign. These students must be taught to approach each problem they encounter not through the myopic lens of simple profit and self-promotion, but through the multi-faceted, interdisciplinary lens of a liberal arts education. Looking at an issue from a collection of different angles will illuminate the one best course of action. ( )
  danielrsimpson | Mar 18, 2011 |
This is a cute sweet little book. While I think it veers off into the abstract more than is helpful- more concrete examples would have been better illuminating, still a worth a gander to make sure one is on the right track. The material strikes a nice balance between Eastern values and Western thinking.

The external world will never move us toward nirvana. It might, on the contrary, drive us crazy. And we can't live happily with our nerves all ajangle. We need some calm. We need inner peace. We need some measure of personal tranquility or we'll never be able to deal well with all that the future may throw at us.

Unappreciated people feel little or no sense of loyalty or camaraderie toward those who are ignoring them, and very little responsibility.
( )
  Clueless | Apr 29, 2008 |
It's interesting but not as much of a "how-to" as I had hoped. Morris explores four elements in the context of good business as itemized by Aristotle and others: Intellectual (truth), aesthetic (beauty), moral (goodness), and spiritual (unity). ( )
  jpsnow | Apr 7, 2008 |
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