IVP - Andy Unedited - For Those with Management Talent

August 8, 2007

For Those with Management Talent

OK, is there anything I don’t like about First, Break All the Rules? Yes. The title.


As a publisher, I think the title is perfect. It's catchy; it suggests that here in these pages you will find the silver bullet, the one thing that will change everything and make all well in Management Land. And it’s simple: just do the opposite of conventional wisdom, and all your problems will be solved. That’s very attractive. And it seems to have worked. The book has sold very well since it was published in 1999 with a lifetime average sales rank on Amazon (according to Title Z) of 284. (When I last checked it was #324.)

As a manager, however, I don’t like it for most of these same reasons. Nothing is that simple. Management is hard work. In fact, to the book’s credit, it never implies that managing is easy. To do everything mentioned in the book takes a lot of effort—and talent, that “driving force behind an individual’s job performance,” those “four-lane highways in your mind” that can’t be taught.

Is that the ultimate irony of the book? Can a book like First, Break All the Rules really help someone if management is also a talent that can't be taught? The answer is yes, but it will help those most who already have some talent for management.

Posted by Andy Le Peau at August 8, 2007 5:22 AM Bookmark and Share

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Get to Know IVP

book cover"Some publishers tell you what to believe. Other publishers tell you what you already believe. But InterVarsity Press helps you believe," says J. I. Packer. Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll describe how this came to be a hallmark of InterVarsity Press in Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength, an anecdotal history spanning the sixty years from the founding of IVP in 1947 to the present day.