Business Confidential: Lessons for Corporate Success from Inside the CIA

Business Confidential: Lessons for Corporate Success from Inside the CIA

Business Confidential: Lessons for Corporate Success from Inside the CIA

Business Confidential: Lessons for Corporate Success from Inside the CIA


A critical figure in America's Cold War intelligence operations, Peter Earnest knows human nature and how to set priorities to stay true to a mission. With this book, Earnest and bestselling author Maryann Karinch demonstrate how core principles of intelligence apply directly to business strategy. Trust-building, loyalty, innovative thinking, using intelligence to support tough decision-making, getting the most from human resources- all are linchpins of critical business strategy, indispensable to:

• Vetting, hiring, and training the ideal team

• Establishing connections with the right people

• Contingency planning

• Operating in both friendly and hostile territory

• Cutting losses at the right time- while increasing the overall win ratio

• and much more

With instructive examples from CIA operations and the business world, Business Confidential vividly illustrates the value of the intelligence mindset in today's unpredictable business landscape.


Peter Earnest, whose distinguished career spans many years as a senior officer in the Clandestine Service, and more recently as the executive director of a highly successful business organization, has produced a work of great potential value to leaders and managers in all walks of life. Out of his own rich experience and his study of the successes and failures of others, he has identified and utilized a vast range of best practices and lessons learned that should be invaluable to all whose roles include leading and managing others, individually and as teams, in important work and service. His book could not be more timely.

In talking with people around the country, I hear their concerns over the growing threats to our national security from political and religious extremists, drug cartels, organized crime, and the thousands of cyber attacks directed against the government and private-sector corporations every day. More and more, however, I find that they wonder about our government institutions and whether they are up to dealing with today’s national security threats and other challenges our nation faces.

Many of the threats they mention, of course, emerged as the Cold War ended and we entered a new millennium. It was during those years that I was privileged to serve as the director of two of our country’s premier institutions dedicated to countering many such threats to our national security, the FBI and the CIA. These organizations are staffed by some of the most capable and dedicated professionals in the federal government. Having the unique opportunity to head both these organizations, I was . . .

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