The Unwritten Laws of Business - W.J. King
By Josh Kaufman
This illuminating little book has been the subject of a great deal of controversy.
Originally published in 1944 as The Unwritten Rules of Engineering, this book by W.J. King was an underground college textbook best-seller until much of its content was co-opted by Raytheon CEO Bill Swanson, who published a short booklet called Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management. The booklet became a minor sensation, receiving accolades from everyone from Jack Welch to Warren Buffett, until the copycatting was discovered, leading to a very public scandal and a dark smudge on Swanson’s reputation.
Swanson, to his credit, picked a very good book to plagiarize: The Unwritten Laws of Business is a short, no-nonsense primer on how to work effectively in a modern company.**
A collection of short maxims and meditations, this book speaks with the air of authority and hard-won experience. Like a commercial Confucius, King has a knack for presenting the realities of working in a complex organization clearly and simply.
Covering everything from estimating project schedules to confirming commitments, The Unwritten Laws of Business is a good book to keep handy by your desk if you work for a company – you’ll consult it often.
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