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Bingsop's Fables: Little Morals for Big Business

Bingsop's Fables: Little Morals for Big Business

by Stanley Bing

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“Amasterful curmudgeon who causes laugh-out-loud moments.”—USA Today
“Bingdelivers his works smoothly, projecting tones of deadpan sarcasm and animatedmockery befitting the often irreverent content.” —Publishers Weekly
From celebrated business writer and Fortune columnist Stanley


“Amasterful curmudgeon who causes laugh-out-loud moments.”—USA Today
“Bingdelivers his works smoothly, projecting tones of deadpan sarcasm and animatedmockery befitting the often irreverent content.” —Publishers Weekly
From celebrated business writer and Fortune columnist Stanley Bing, thebestselling author of What Would Machiavelli Do?, ThrowingThe Elephant,Sun Tzu is a Sissy, and more, comes a collection of playful fables poking funat corporate archetypes while imparting useful and humorous lessons for anyonestriving to make it big in big business. Illustrated throughout by New Yorker artist Steve Brodner, Bingsop’s Fables isthe perfect addition to any executive bookshelf in need of a little humor—and alot of excellent advice.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It doesn't take much to spin Aesop's fables into business lessons. The Hare and the Turtle and any number of other tales, though written around the 5th century BCE, can be easily made relevant to today's business world, and Bing thoroughly, humorously modernizes the popular moral lessons into bite-sized anecdotes that are as easy to digest as they are to apply to the workplace. Instead of greedy monkeys, acquisitive crows, or sneaky foxes, Bing offers Publicity-Crazed Moguls, Blabbering Marketing Executives, and the Executive Vice Presidents of Whatever. The morals may not be as uplifting or plainspoken as they once were, but they still carry a zing: "The weak may inherit the earth, but they do very poorly in the workplace"; or "There's no such thing as ‘too paranoid' anymore." Bing (What Would Machiavelli Do?: The Ends Justify the Meanness), a columnist for Fortune magazine, succeeds less in representing women and minorities; there's a glass ceiling evidently even in parables about business. But his latest slim gimmick would make a fine companion to, say, a desktop Dilbert calendar. 35 line drawings. (May)
Kirkus Reviews

Biting wisdom of the corporate world conveyed through a series of clever moral tales and anthropomorphic illustrations.

Borrowing from the style and structure of Aesop's Fables,Fortunemagazine columnist and author Bing (Executricks: Or How to Retire While You're Still Working, 2008,etc.) focuses his keen observer's eye on the egos, misjudgments and general mayhem that sink or float the players in American Big Business.Offering a wealth of advice on navigating the tricky waters of corporate politics and interpersonal relationships, these parables are equally relevant for life outside the office. Bing's pithy, humorous guidance is dispensed through his alter ego, Bingsop. The short volume is loaded with scathingly funny, and recognizable, corporate archetypes: the CEO, the Media Mogul, the Benefits Manager, the Consultants, among others. The fun begins with the "Translator's Note," in which the author explains that he is writingfrom a time far in the future recounting the collected wisdom of a scribe from early-21st-century America. Brodner's illustrations of animals as human caricatures are clever and offbeat. Each tale ends with a moral that cuts to the chase—e.g., "Everybody wants to think outside the box unless it's their box," or "It's your ring people are kissing, not you."

Deceptively simple bedtime stories for adults.

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Read an Excerpt

Bingsop's Fables

Little Morals for Big Business
By Stanley Bing


Copyright © 2011 Stanley Bing
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061998522

Chapter One

After a horrible and bloody merger, the CEO of the losing
side, who had barely survived the "coming together of two
proud companies," did an analysis of which ser vices could be
outsourced in his conquered subsidiary. The CEO knew that
his future depended on how many jobs he could kill before the
size of his package was noted by the senior management of the
dominant hedge fund that now owned them. He quickly saw
that a number of internal functions could be managed offshore
simply by hiring a ser vice firm or existing entity in Costa Rica
that did such things for companies looking to minimize pensions,
benefits, and other employee-related costs. "I can save a
ton of money and be a hero to my new bosses just like the guys
at Citigroup did," he thought.
Like many CEOs, however, this particular executive,
while a genuine fan of rationalizing costs, hated to actually
fire people himself. He therefore determined to hire a hatchet
man to do the nasty work for him, bringing in a former
McKinsey operative and giving him the title of Chief Operating
bonus, long-term compensation, and perquisites amounting
to the cost of several hundred smaller jobs. He at once
targeted Law, Accounting, Public Relations, Event Planning,
Office Ser vices, and several other formerly integrated departments
for extreme unction, although he did spare the executive chef.
"This place is way fat," he told the CEO, who knew he was
full of shit but admired the zeal with which he justified his
"This fellow is a real go-getter," said the CEO to himself.
"I will kill him as soon as I can, for he is very dangerous to any
life form in his vicinity."
The CEO and his hatchet man planned to execute their
reorganization all at once, on a Friday afternoon, late in the
day, when corporations traditionally "take out the garbage,"
minimizing as much as possible the media fallout.
On the day when the announcements were to be made,
the Chief Operating Officer called the executives in charge
of these various areas into his palatial office, one by one, and
terminated them after outlining the actions necessary to earn
their severance. And there was much weeping and gnashing
of teeth throughout the building, which had once been home
to several hundred worthy souls and would now be little more
than a ghost town populated by wraiths whose jobs it would be
to manage outsourced providers.
"These are tough times," said the COO to each of them.
"And tough times call for hard solutions. Thank you for your
contribution. Now get the fuck out of here." Actually, he didn't
say that precisely. But that's precisely what he meant.
Among those called to judgment in this manner was a
Strategic Planner who was the sole member of what had once
been a functioning group of people hired to chart the long
term direction of the enterprise back when companies were
less intent on operating strictly quarter to quarter. This planning
dude was a savvy fellow, and had quietly functioned
under the radar for quite some time. He earnestly beseeched
the hatchet man to spare his life for the sake of superior
"Dude," he said, adopting the modified surfer patois that
binds together much of the more youthful cadre of senior
management. "You can't take me out. This place is nothing
without a planning operation that understands and is dedicated
to the day to day. Give me a chance to exercise my chops
and demonstrate my added value. Besides, I'm no lawyer. I'm
no bean counter. I'm a Wharton grad, did six years at KPMG.
I was instrumental in the transaction that produced this
acquisition, for chrissake. At some point we're going to need to
grow revenue, not just cut costs. That's when what I do really
kicks in."
The Chief Operating Officer, who was a graduate of the
Harvard Business School, laughed aloud and said, "It may be
as you say, Fred. But if you were half as smart as you think you
are, you'd have seen the personal implications of a merger like
Six months later, when the cutbacks were all done, the Chief
Executive Officer fired this very same hatchet man with
exactly the same words. "What a bastard," said the CEO to himself
as he started the search for a new second banana, a search he
didn't actually have time to complete before his new bosses at
the hedge fund took him out, a step that cost them $147 million
in severance but that they still considered a good investment.
"What a bunch of losers," said the hedge fund officers. And
then they had lunch.

An elderly Supply Chain Officer had hit his expiration date,
and was hunkered down in his office. His colleagues came
in great numbers to inquire after his health, and each one
helped himself to a share of his turf, since he could no longer
handle or protect it; so that in the end he was laid low not
from the complications of his career malaise, but from the
ostensible "help" he got from his friends. When he got fired,
they all took him to Elaine's.


Excerpted from Bingsop's Fables by Stanley Bing Copyright © 2011 by Stanley Bing. Excerpted by permission of HarperBusiness. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


Meet the Author

Stanley Bing is a columnist for Fortune magazine and the bestselling author of Crazy Bosses, What Would Machiavelli Do?, Throwing the Elephant, Sun Tzu Was a Sizzy, 100 Bullshit Jobs . . . And How to Get Them, and The Big Bing, as well as the novels Lloyd: What Happened and You Look Nice Today. By day he is an haute executive in a gigantic multinational corporation whose identity is one of the worst-kept secrets in business.

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