Observations on Back Cover Copy

I picked up ” Survival Of  The Savvy” by Rick Brandon, Ph.D and Marty Seldman, PhD, from our Club library. The byline on the front cover proclaims ” High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success.” That’s great so far. The copy in my hand was published in May 2007 and is a Free Press Export Edition from Simon & Schuster.

On the back cover, the first quote is from Ramalinga Raju, Chairman Satyam Computer Services Ltd. he writes,” Global leaders today recognize the significance of being connected…candidly and openly discusses the political health of an organization, beginning with the important lessons of closed shop, and the demand for a high-integrity culture.”

Below that, Rama Raju, Managing Director of Satyam writes, “Our commitment at Satyam is to recognize the impact of corporate power and influence and to orchestrate a climate of politically savvy leaders”

I don’t blame the authors one bit because they weren’t astrologers to predict the future.  In January 2009, a scandal hit India which many observers believed was unprecedented in its audacity or scale. I speak of the Satyam Computers scandal which created a huge furor in the minds of corporate India, the investing public and the employees of that company.

How ironic it sounds to hear the Rajus say what they did! For greater perspective, here’s an insightful article by Prof. Sudhakar V. Balachandran of  the Columbia Business School in Forbes. Sure, things have changed at the erstwhile Satyam over the last couple of years.

But coming back to the importance of back cover copy, isn’t it essential for the publishers to change the quotes in that back cover copy? They may have done so already. If they have, good for them. If they haven’t, my sympathies lie with the authors. I am sure they would not, even in their wildest dreams have imagined that the Rajus, who wrote so glowingly about the book would have ended up where they did.

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