Monday, September 21, 2009

Formula for Management Best Sellers

  • Take one idea. Repeat every other chapter.
  • Borrow images from nature. Wolves, tigers, and elephants are fine. Dung beetles are not.
  • Without using the word "magic," frequently refer to magic.
  • Leave out key steps; e.g., "Harold was working as a custodian at an obscure newspaper in Frogsquat, Alabama when one day an editor from The New Yorker asked him to write a feature story. From that point on, his rise was rapid."
  • Take strategies that may work in some circumstances and declare that they'll work in all circumstances. Make that "ALL" circumstances.
  • Gloss over major factors: "Startled by the challenge, Ellen turned to her team of Nobel Prize winners and, using The Two Sentence Business Plan, was quickly able to ...."
  • And always have a loophole: "Of course, we cannot promise the same results to those who fail to devote five hours a day to this program."


Cultural Offering said...

Very true. I toyed with a list of books to read instead of management books - a mixture of original source works (The Prince, Nicomachean Ethics, etc.) along with biographies, works of fiction and a mix of news sources.
I'll give Nicholas Bate some credit here: I have found his books to be useful.

Kerouac said...

Only one book has ever radically changed my life. It was the one I signed to receive my marriage license.

Hey - I didn't say it was a GOOD change!

Rob said...

The question is what makes them popular? Is it the marketing? The writer? The cover? The title? The content? So others can quote them in seminars or assessment papers?

Michael Wade said...

Cultural Offering,

I find a great many lessons in biographies and history. Nicholas's books are very helpful.


Very funny!

Michael Wade said...


It seems that the right endorsements and a catchy title work wonders.