Oh, no, not another book on management!
Yes, I’m afraid so; my book Management from the Masters has just been published, and yet another book has been added to the tens of thousands already out there. To readers who feel that far too many acres of print have been devoted to this subject, I apologise – but let me also attempt an explanation.
Why did I feel, having already written or edited about twenty books on management, that yet another was required? Because, as I wrote in the introduction to Management from the Masters, ‘the job of the manager is without doubt getting harder, not easier.’ Managers need wisdom to help guide them through their complex task, now more than ever.
Rather than write yet another ‘how to do it’ book about management, I tried to tap into a variety of sources of wisdom about management, and present some of their key insights in an easy to read, easy to digest way. I must point out at once that the wisdom and insights are not my own! They come from the writings and thinking of people far wiser and far more insightful than myself.
One thing that I have tried to do, though, is look beyond the relatively narrow field of management itself and draw ideas from other fields, such as physics, biology, philosophy, psychology and economics. So, the ‘masters’ in Management from the Masters include ancient sages such as Confucius and Kautilya alongside more modern management gurus such as Drucker and Deming. I tried to broaden the idea of management , to get away from the ‘silo’ view of management that permeates so much modern thinking on the subject and look at management in a holistic way.
To quote again from the book, ‘successful managers are those who can sense patterns and make connections that are not immediately obvious.’ It might seem at first glance that the law of entropy or Darwin’s theory of evolution have nothing to do with managing a modern business. I think otherwise, and I hope that in the book I have demonstrated why the understanding of these two forces – among others – is vitally important. Successful managers are also those who can think about whole problems, not just little bits of problems, and come up with whole solutions. If this book helps people to think about management in the round and to take a broader approach to problem-solving, then I will be very happy.
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