Thursday, August 09, 2007

Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up by Stanely Bing

Make sure you are comfortably lying down while you read this book. Standing or sitting is simply too dangerous a position to assume while reading this book. In any posture other than lying flat, you will fall down to ground laughing your brains off as you read this book. Why fall and then roll on the floor laughing loud. You might as well lie down and roll with laughter while you read this book.

The author has delivered a masterpiece which is a satire about bosses. If you know anything about Buddha and his teachings, you will certainly appreciate author has very creatively used Buddha's teachings in his satire and to make fun of bosses.

If you are looking for serious ways and techniques for managing up, you may not find much here. Not that good stuff is not here but author's hilarious style masks anything serious and useful in it. You will simply laugh your way till you lay down this book. May be when you read for second time, you can attempt to consciously curb the funny parts and try to get some serious stuff.

Honestly, I have not come across such bosses which many managing up books talk about. May be because of knowledge industry I am in. I can not think of how a fire breathing bosses can even exist in today's world. These days people will shove their resignations up boss' 'heart' and move on if the boss is crazy. But, we have seen such firebrand bosses who are found in administrative and operational roles where their need to more tactical than strategic.

The book starts of with 'Zen and the art of managing up'. This itself cracks me up. Then comes three sections about dealing with the elephant. First handling the elephant, second managing the elephant and third throwing the elephant. Things get advanced and more funny as you turn pages.

Some Jewels:

"We are all one with the corporation. It has no beginning and no end. So relax. Nothing really matters that much." - Do not take this literally. As they - " take your job seriously but not yourself."

Modern day Buddha's nine step path to Nirvana.

1)Not caring

2)Not hoping

3)Not speaking

4)Not reacting

5)Not judging

6)Not listening

7)Not thinking

8)Not feeling

9) Not planning

One extra step

10) Not giving up.

Read this book and you will know which book to pick up when you need some laugh.

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