Booklet: Agincourt: when 7.000 English defeated 30.000 French; Two lessons for business strategy

Professor Jorge Sá (PhD Columbia University; MBA Drucker University; Jean Monnet Chair; Peter Drucker speaker) is an international speaker and author, having published several books on business and economics topics, translated into twelve languages.

Together with our office, Professor Jorge Sá also produced a series of six small booklets on the lessons of battles/wars for business administration, being one of them the booklet:

“Agincourt: when 7.000 English defeated 30.000 French; two lessons for business strategy”

History is the memory of mankind. Without its knowledge, we are condemned to start over and over again. As Santayana put it: “Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it”.

This booklet presents the lessons for business administration that can be learned from the battle of Agincourt, in 25th October 1415, one of the greatest ever military surprises.

France, then the main European military power, with an army composed of the best of its cavalry, was defeated by an English army of commoners. This, in spite of France’s overwhelming superiority in numbers: 30 thousand French against 7 thousand Englishmen; a disproportion of forces by four to one.

At Agincourt, the French lost 10.000 thousand men. The English lost only 500; twenty times fewer. And the enormity of the deed, led Shakespeare to write his play: Henry V.

So, what are the two lessons from Agincourt explained in this booklet? First, find out our strengths; ignore our weaknesses; Secondly, select a field of combat, such as a division within an industry or within a geographical area that maximizes the importance of the former and makes the latter irrelevant.

Thus, one changes the terms of engagement in our favour. And by doing so, we are able to pinpoint and optimise our resources, consequently making them less scarce. Opportunities are then detected, and sometimes even created.

And so, we implement best what Peter Drucker taught, namely that the essence of strategy is to apply scarce resources to the greatest opportunities (cover and back cover of the booklet below).

1. Jorge Sá is an expert on Peter Drucker and Philip Kotler, founders of modern management and modern marketing, respectively, with whom he studied and who offered letters of recommendation for his books and endorsements for his work, having lectured at the four Lisbon universities: Nova School of Business and Economics; Catholic University; Lisbon State university; and AESE associated with IESE at Barcelona.

2. Has a master’s degree from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management in California and a doctorate(PhD) in Business Administration, from Columbia University, in New York, where he was research, teaching assistant, and graduated with honors (always Dean’s list, Beta Gamma Sigma). Also holds two undergraduate degrees (in business administration and economics) and a graduate degree in Macroeconomics.

3. Was awarded the Jean Monnet Chair by the Jean Monnet Foundation in Brussels, and his books translated into twelve languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian, Ukrainian, German, Lithuanian, Thai, Korean, Norwegian and Iranian, received endorsements, among others, from Peter F. Drucker, Cecily Drucker, Al Ries (author of the bestsellers Marketing Warfare and Positioning), Don Hambrick (Professor at Columbia University and The Pennsylvania State University), Karl Moore (Professor at Oxford and McGill University), Peter Starbuck (President of the London Drucker Society) and Philip Kotler.

4. Besides over thirty articles published in blind refereed reviews and journals of economics, business administration and medicine, he has addressed conferences and given seminars at several institutions including TED USA (, London Business School, Drucker University, IESE, Glasgow Business School, ESSEC (France), ESSAM (European Consortium of Business Schools), Manchester Business School, George Washington University, Oxford, etc. Has also addressed conferences and presented articles in academic and non-academic meetings, such as Academy of Management, Western Economic Association, Peter Drucker Society of Europe, at the European Commission, etc.

5. Has worked as private consultant, non-executive director or taught in the executive programs of multinational companies such as: Coca-Cola, SHELL, Unisys, IBM, Price Waterhouse, KPMG, Glaxo, British Petroleum – BP, Dun & Bradstreet, Deloitte & Touche, Makro (Metro group), Systéme U, I.F.A, Intermarché, Mini Prix Bonjours, Accenture, Watson Wyatt, Cap Gemini, Cesce, Scottish & Newcastle, Sara Lee, Total, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Logica, Indra, Grandvision, Jafep, Euler Hermes, Cosec, Pestana Group Hotels, Tivoli Hotels & Resorts, Millennium Bank, Julius Baer, SGG, Henkel, Abencys, Broadbill, Volkswagen Group, McDonald’s, MiTek, United Steel Products, Base Group, UnitedHealth group, Inapa, Vodafone, IDC, Merck, BPI Bank, Milestone, Fijowave, Foxpak, ND Sports, LLR-G5, Horan, Prodieco, Dennison, Grid Finance, Bluemetrix, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, Microsoft, etc.

6. His hobbies are History (wrote several books on the lessons of military campaigns for management) and football (degree as a professional coach). He speaks and writes (by alphabetical order) English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. He lives between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro. And the office, Vasconcellos e Sá Associates (, provides support for research and other activities.

For more information on the books and conferences by Professor Jorge Sá please check our website at: or contact us at .

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