This post takes a satirical look at the business management book genre, specifically looking at five of the most ridiculous titles and how they often lead to bad management.
While the old cliché that “managers are not made, they are born” can in some degrees be argued to be true, it is also worthwhile acknowledging that you can often pick up a number of tips and ideas for your own leadership style from the vast plethora of management guide books available.
While there are undoubtedly some gems, some of them just give a ridiculous message, ridden with management speak that is often regurgitated verbatim by the reader when at work, under the misguided premise that they are now a great leader.
We looked at five of the most ridiculously titled management books there are.
1.Management in 10 Words
If it is possible to sum up management in 10 words, then why on Earth has this been extended out into a 320 page book? Surely each word does not require an average of 32 pages for an explanation of why it is such a great management tool. If management really can be defined in 10 words, then a piece of A4 paper should suffice just nicely.
There is also another similar book called “Why is my Iceberg Melting,” however the essential message is the same. How can you and your business survive and thrive in changing conditions in an evolving world? Well, the answer is somewhat obvious in that you too must also evolve to meet the demands of the world. There is really no need for a book that likens the business world to a mouse trying to survive by looking for cheese. The scariest thing about this book is that it is an all-time best seller. Is it any wonder the global economy is a mess?
There is a whole series of books carrying this title, with various sub-titles based around being productive and having a stress-free work life. However, the message after 250+ pages of reading is always the same. If you want to get things done, write it down and have a plan. Simple really.
For me, personally, this was the first management book I ever read. Unfortunately, it had little bearing on me, as having read it I immediately realised that the manager who had borrowed it to me was the human manifestation of the book, a product of what he had read. Basically, the book is centred around managing everyone for a minute each day, based on the old business cliché that “my most valuable minute is the one spent with my people.”
5.How to Lead
If ever there was an expensive tick the box exercise, this is it. Although it does contain a lot of leadership advice, the main purpose of the book is to tick off everything that applies to you, then go away and get the skills needed to tick the rest. Perhaps if you spent the time leading rather than reading and ticking boxes you would acquire the skills easier.