Lessons from a 4,000-year-old code: Why YMC puts “skin in the game”

King Hammurabi (you know, the guy of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” fame) gets a pretty bad rap in the history books. Though harsh by today’s standards (e.g., invoking the death penalty for using sub-par materials in a building project), the management principles he outlined more than 4,000 years ago in Babylon were the basis for one of history’s first codes of conduct.

The sixth king of Babylon (known today as Iraq) compiled over 280 laws that categorize three critical values and concepts that apply to leadership today: accountability, incentive, and reciprocity. The issues that kept Hammurabi up at night are often the same questions that keep you and me from getting a good night’s sleep:

  • How can we maintain accountability with our team and those we trust with our business?
  • How should we manage risk?
  • How can we communicate the standards so that everyone understands what needs to be done and how to make it happen?

Let’s take a closer look at each issue:

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