The E-Myth Manager: Why Most Managers Don't Work and What to Do About It

The E-Myth Manager: Why Most Managers Don't Work and What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber

Paperback(1st Harper Perennial)

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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: entrepreneur, author and speaker extraordinaire fires 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—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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780887309595
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/14/2004
Edition description: 1st Harper Perennial
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 582,526
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Michael E. Gerber is a true legend of entrepreneurship. The editors of INC magazine called him "The World's #1 Small Business Guru." He is Co-founder and Chairman of the Michael E. Gerber Companies—a group of highly unique enterprises dedicated to creating world-class start-ups and entrepreneurs in every industry and economy. The Gerber Companies transforms the way small business owners grow their enterprises and has evolved into an empire over its history of nearly three decades.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Managerial Myth

Intellectually, people may aspire for emancipation or enlightenment but emotionally they love small bondages around them.... They feel satisfied by knowing about liberation, reading about it, imagining it. They feel satisfied about this because the word liberation has its own intoxication, the emotional feel about the meaning of the word has an intoxication.

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...

What People are Saying About This

Dewey Eason

"Direction is invaluable to any person entering the business world, and Michael Gerber's E-Myth [Mastery Program] is like having your own satellite navigation system to guide you through the hills and valleys of our potholed business environment."

Michael Crom

"Michael Gerber's E-Myth [Mastery Program] has been a valuable tool in creating an exciting and viable corporate vision and bringing Dale Carnegie Training into the next millennium."

Jerald L. Broussard

"Entrepreneurs know what they want to do with their businesses. This book gives them a process on how to do it. Gerber's clarity is something every business owner desperately needs -- without it, businesses won't survive their learning curve. The E-Myth process ensures your success."

Allan D. Koltin

"The power of the E-Myth will transform your business and your life."

William Coleman

"The systems [in the E-Myth Mastery Program] first helped me build the `basics' of my business and to create a real and successful organization. It has also enabled me to explore what personal `freedom' and `joy' can mean as chairman of our now profitable business."

Robert L. Siegfried Jr.

"The enormous power of The E-Myth Mastery Program is clarity. The Program has helped me decide exactly what I want from my business and my life. The E-Myth principles and methods continue to guide me in determining what needs to be done and how to do it."

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The E-Myth Manager: Why Most Managers Don't Work and What to Do About It 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jpsnow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This author puts down the constant siege of management trends built on buzzwords and oversimplified concepts. Then he proceeds to put forth his own version of the same. However, he does rely more on principle and makes some interesting points on the way. Foremost among them is that a good manager starts with asking the question "What do I want?" The wisdom behind this is derived from his original "e-myth" that successful companies are not based on an entrepeneurial culture but instead on one person's vision. Hence, a good manager should be working as the emporer of their own vision. This does not necessitate owning a separate business as long as the employment relationship allows for molding of a role into that which satisfies the vision of the manager. According to Gerber, each person must recognize and affect how much they concentrate on each vital role: emporer, manager, and technician. Two other important steps (among several put forth) are creating a marketing and financial plan. The financial plan should put every employee in touch with the type of decision making one makes with real budgets and money. It was also interesting to see yet another work by a local author, complete with references to Marin General, Corte Madera, Sonoma, and Petaluma.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago