The late business management guru Peter Drucker was asked which book about how to run an organization was the best of all time.
He didn’t bother consulting any recent lists of best-sellers, but reached back 2,500 years for his choice: “Xenophon’s ‘Cyrus’ — the earliest book on the subject— is still the best on leadership.”
Nick Gresens, lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures at the University of Rochester, underscored the point, telling IBD:
“Cyrus the Great created the Persian Empire, which stretched from the Mediterranean coast of what is today Turkey to India in the east, encompassing the greatest percentage of world population that would ever be under a single ruler. He was wise not only for his time; he has lessons for today’s leaders.”
Birth And Survival
Cyrus’ early life is shrouded in myth. Some accounts say he was born in 600 and others 576 B.C.
According to one story, the king of the Medes, a powerful tribe in what is today northern Iran, had a dream that warned him to kill his grandson, Cyrus, who would otherwise forcefully take the throne.