About Me

Ithaca, New York
MWF, now officially 42, loves long walks on the beach and laughing with friends ... oh, wait. By day, I'm a mid-level university administrator reluctant to be more specific on a public forum. Nights and weekends, though, I'm a homebody with strong nerdist leanings. I'm never happier than when I'm chatting around the fire, playing board games, cooking up some pasta, and/or road-tripping with my family and friends. I studied psychology and then labor economics in school, and I work in higher education. From time to time I get smug, obsessive, or just plain boring about some combination of these topics, especially when inequality, parenting, or consumer culture are involved. You have been warned.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

REALITY CHECK #000: What They Still Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School

Ended up never finishing this one and returning it half-read after renewing it once. Oh well.

What They Still Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School
, by Mark H. McCormack (New York: Bantam Books, 1989).

"The key to executive success is innovation, and if you want to keep up with the times in today's fast-paced global economy, you'd better keep up with Mark McCormack. One of America's hottest entrepreneurs and the author of the million-copy bestseller What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack is back with an advanced course in street-smart business tactics for the executive headed for the top. What They Still Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School is a book of powerful new strategies designed to help you write your own success story for the 1990s.

"Mark McCormack didn't tell readers everything he knew in What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School. In part, that's because the best executives stay open to innovation, constantly seeking out systems and strategies that work better and people who have something new to teach them. Using his proven method of applied people sense, McCormack explodes conventional wisdom and teaches the skills that have contributed to his own stunning success and that of the many senior executives with whom he's worked. The result is a straight-talking practical guide to getting organized, getting ahead, and gaining and keeping the competitive edge. Here are all the winning strategies of buying, selling, managing, and negotiating that will give you the advantage no matter what the situation -- in even the toughest business environments.

"McCormack takes you inside the top corporations to reveal the secrets of supersalesmanchip and match-tough negotiating: how to handle questions you don't want to answer, get more information than you give, and make the kind of offer no one can refuse. Learn how to evaluate a client so that you know what he wants before he asks for it, direct a meeting and set the agenda, write a persuasive memo, and time phone calls for maximum effect -- even how to make business travel easier ... and more productive. What They Still Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School offers telling new insights into:
  • How to land your first great job and make a big impact with limited opportunities
  • How to get the job done in the office or on the road
  • The five attributes of a winner
  • Ten ways careers get stalled -- and how to get them started again
  • Four ways to prove you're worth a higher salary
  • The seven most dangerous people in your company
  • The Ten Commandments of Street Smarts
  • And much, much more
"Written in hard-hitting, no-nonsense language that echoes Mark McCormack's uniquely successful management style, here is savvy advice for executives and executives-to-be on every rung of the corporate ladder. Now you no longer have to struggle to keep up with the competition -- they'll be fighting to keep up with you!"

Table of Contents:
(OK, this is an abridged ToC. The real one is about 6 pages long and I Just Wasn't Gonna Do It.)
Introduction: The Ten Commandments of Street Smarts
1: Selling
2: Negotiating
3: Managing
4: Getting Ahead
5: Getting Organized
6: Communicating
7: Getting the Job Done on the Road
8: Entrepreneuring
Epilogue: Do I Follow My Own Advice?

My Take:

It's always interesting to read books of leadership and management advice, most of which are aimed primarily at those who work in the corporate sector, and see which pieces of the author's wisdom do and don't apply to colleges and universities (and possibly to other non-profits, too). In this case, it'll be interesting to see which pieces of McCormack's advice seem to have stood the test of time, 22 years on, and which haven't. Clearly, I'm not expecting any discussion of e-mail, the internet, or smart phones, which is likely to make the chapters on organization and business travel rather quaint. I'll admit, though, that the introductory chapter, at least, seems plain-spoken and fairly apropos even today. Stay tuned.

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