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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Book Review: What They Dont Teach You At Harvard Business School

Author: Mark H. McCormack

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

Content: 8.5/10

Useful Tips from the firing lines of experience

Readability: 9/10
It is well written and the numerous stories are rather interesting.

Overall Ranking: 17.5/20
Overall a good read for people who want to learn from the real life experience and not a textbook.

This book stems from the perspective of the author Mark H. McCormack's experience at the head of his sports management company IMG (International Management Group), where he and his company represent sporting clients and events such as Arnold Palmer and Wimbledon.

The preface of the book contains the following statement.

"As an introduction to business, an MBA, is a worthwhile endeavor. But as an education, as part of an ongoing learning process, it is at best a foundation and at worst a naive form of arrogance."

The preface continues to say that the ins and outs of everyday business life are largely a self-learning process, though the experience of someone like the author Mark McCormack might make the learning shorter, easier, and a lot less painful.

This book proceeds share McCormack's experiences of the business world through short sections of advice which is usually illustrated to a real life example. It is separated into three main sections and fourteen subsections. They are

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

Part One: People
1. Reading People
2. Creating Impressions
3. Taking the Edge
4. Getting Ahead

Part Two: Sales and Negotiations
5. The Problem of Selling
6. Timing
7. Silence
8. Marketability
9. Stratagems
10. Negotiating

Part Three: Running a Business
11. Building a Business
12. Staying in Business
13. Getting Things Done
14. For Entrepreneurs Only

Overall, i feel that this book is definitely a useful guide for most people as it includes sections on human relationships, salesmanship as well as tips for people who want to get their business on track.

Well worth your time and effort.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate when anyone takes the time to read and review for me, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I think its a great marketing gimmick to say that you're teaching someone what is not taught in MBA School. After all, if you look at the contents of the book, it is stuff that is taught in MBA School.

It appeals to people who thumb their noses at MBA School, can't get into one, or have met one too many arrogant fresh MBA grads as their bosses.

The truth of the matter is though, the MBA degree is much more valuable than whatever the book has to say, especially since the premise is about experience that you have to learn on your own. It's a contradiction isn't it? You can only learn it through experience, not from a degree, much less an anecdotal book.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a very interesting book :)

Anonymous said...

THank you for your review.
its useful. School cant teach you everything.

Rams said...


Thanks for the note about this book.
Sure, you can't learn everything in school.

I will try to read his book.



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