Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review : What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School: Notes From A Street-Smart Executive

467754Name of the Book : What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School: Notes From A Street-Smart Executive
Author : Mark H. McCormack
Published June 1st 1986 by Bantam

A bestseller, with a thousand rave reviews and a number of people recommending me, made me finally pick this book. I generally don't read business/management or self-help as it is better to learn yourself than some author tell you the do's and don'ts.
The book is about management strategies from the Marck which he had learnt during his career of working for various clients, starting his own firm and growing it. The tone of the book is prescriptive throughout and it makes you feel that someone is constantly nagging and teaching you the do's and dont's of business.
If you have spent a couple of years in the industry already, you would already know most of the gyan. The examples are from Mark's real life, who runs a firm dealing with sports marketing and stuff. But how many of us are in such kind of firms. I work an MNC, a big corporate giant where situations, processes and people think differently. Frankly, I couldn't relate to any of the examples provided in the book, though I did find some of the gyan-baazi useful for speaking up in meetings and using the terms over lunch :) it impresses people, trust me.

There are few things which are really striking and leave and impact on you such as -
  • Its okay to not respond to mails immediately when waiting might result in a better outcome
  • Tricks on negotiating a deal and creating a perception of win-win situation
  • Why managers only delegate un-important tasks and keep the trophy for themselves, what should be the right approach to delegation and how you should keep your employee motivated
  • We are not just managing people, we manage egos, personalities and eccentricities
Once we start working in Corporate environments, we deal with issues, egos, personalities, processes everyday. There is no right or wrong way out, there is no prescriptive method that will take us out, it is sheer common sense. We all tend to figure out eventually what works for us, not by reading few tricks or few books but by learning in the field. Probably, that's why they don't teach this at Harvard or any other B-school.

The book is a nice quick read, but very prescriptive, . My rating is 3/5

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