The E-Myth Manager: Leading Your Business Through Turbulentby Michael E. Gerber
More than ten years after his first bestselling book, The E-Myth, changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of small business owners, Michael Gerber椮trepreneur, author, and speaker extraordinaire楩res the next salvo in his highly successful E-Myth Revolution. Drawing on lessons learned from working with more than 15,000
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More than ten years after his first bestselling book, The E-Myth, changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of small business owners, Michael Gerber椮trepreneur, author, and speaker extraordinaire楩res the next salvo in his highly successful E-Myth Revolution. Drawing on lessons learned from working with more than 15,000 small, medium-sized, and very large organisations, Gerber has discovered the truth behind why management doesn′t work and what to do about it. Unearthing the arbitrary origins of commonly held doctrines such as the omniscience of leader (Emperor) and the most widely embraced myth of all擨e E-Myth Manager offers a fresh, provocative alternative to management as we know it. It explores why every manager must take charge of his own life, reconcile his own personal vision with that of the organisation, and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set to achieve true success.
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The Managerial Myth
Vimala Thakar,"Set Them on Fire!" A Portrait of a Modern Sage
At the beginning of every organization, of every business, of every invention-of every life-is an idea. An idea that is good, or an idea that is bad, an idea that is yet to be proven, but still, an idea.
Look at your own life. Who you are is no magical accident--if you look closely, you will see that your life represents ideas others have had that influenced you, for better or worse, ideas you have had that have influenced who you became, and even ideas you never even knew had influenced you. Like the idea of relativity. The idea of gravity. The idea of human equality. The idea of time. The idea of space. The idea of God. The idea of justice. The idea of management.
Certainly each and every one of these ideas has influenced your life to some degree, yet how many of these concepts have you questioned? Perhaps in the early years of your life you did. But as we know, the older we get, the less we have time for serious questions. As we get older, the most serious of questions become unserious answers; we've got a job to do, and we do it. Yet it is these very serious questions, these very ideas, that shape the work that men and women do. That shape each and everyone of us as managers.
History teaches us that an unchallenged idea can be a dangerous proposition. Still, every day, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of managers just like you go to work in an organization founded upon someone's idea and assume the responsibility of making something happen. Whether or not the idea is still viable, still achievable, still sane.
It doesn't matter what kind of company or which kind of department or division you manage--the fact that you're trying to manage it at all is, based upon my experience, insane. Management, as we have come to know it, is the product of many years of insanity based on an idea that to manage means to strive to control everything around us. Something humans were never born to do.
It is my belief that our idea of management dates back as far as people do, thousands upon thousands of years, as do our ideas of power, of work, and of prestige; our ideas of systems and bosses and careers; our ideas of what it means to have a job and what it means to lose one.
And at the top of the list is the idea of what it means to be a Manager.
The Accidental Birth of Management
The idea of the Manager is best typified by the illustration on the following page. It shows the pyramids being built. It shows the workers, their immediate Managers (today we call them supervisors), and the supervisors' Managers. The supervisors are the guys with the whips and chains. The workers, in case it isn'tobvious, are the ones moving 400 billion tons of monster rock into place to build the pyramid for their great leader.
As the story goes, the very entrepreneurial leader of this gambit was lying around one day eating grapes and cavorting with women and boys when it suddenly occurred to him that he wouldn't get to do this forever. That, at some point, he was going to die. "There must be some way to memorialize my magnificence," he thought, "to make me immortal." He wondered for a moment, then exclaimed, "What about a great big rock or temple, or-I've got itwhat about a pyramid! An Emperor's tomb. The biggest box anyone has ever been put to rest in. Bigger than anything anyone has ever built before. Bigger than a mountain."
Ah, the grapes must have tasted sweeter as this idea-this bigger-than-any-idea-he-had-ever-had-before idea-took form in his mind. And from the moment the idea possessed him, he lived with that picture in his mind, he ate with it in mind, he slept with it in mind. No matter what, he had to do it!
So he gathered together his ministers (the senior management team), his overseers (the middle management team), and his foremen (the supervisors). And he placed the execution of his precious Vision in the hands of the guys who carried the whips and chains and knew how to use them.
So the Emperor sucked on grapes while the senior Managers worried about the numbers and the middle Managers walked around with clipboards and made not-so-idle threats. And the subordinates, by the millions, dug up rock, inhaled rock, ate rock, spit out rock, swallowed rock, picked up rock, and moved rock toward its final destination, where they hoisted rock, shifted rock, lifted rock, balanced rock, and placed rock upon rock upon rock upon rock. Meanwhile, miraculously, the grand pyramid rose, out of sand, out of an idea as thin as the air between the ears of the Emperor, manifested from virtually nothing into the most magnificent something anyone had ever seen.
And in fulfilling the dreams of one man, other men began to dream of other grand ideas. If he could do that, they reasoned, why couldn't we do this? And that? And some other thing?
Like build the Great Wall of China. Or stage the Russian Revolution. Or create McDonald's, or Microsoft, or CNN?
All of these, built in the same way as that very first pyramid...
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Meet the Author
Michael E. Gerber is a true legend of entrepreneurship. INC. magazine called him "the World's #1 Small Business Guru." He is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Michael E. Gerber Companies—a group of highly unique enterprises dedicated to creating world-class start-ups and entrepreneurs in every industry and economy—a company that transforms the way small business owners grow their companies and which has evolved into an empire over its history of nearly three decades.
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