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Book Review of: Management of the Absurd
List Price: $11.00
Management of the Absurd, by Richard Farson
Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, MBA, Certified Professional Manager, and author of over 3500 articles.
Two thumbs up! Farson hits the nail on the head, time after time. Usually when I review a management-related book, I don't post the review because I can't come up with a positive one! Most books on this topic oversimplify and make recommendations that have me wondering just how stupid the author thinks people are. The fact I will post a review of this management book is a ringing endorsement.
I listened to this book on tape--the author is a very good narrator. But now I am convinced I need a hard copy to refer to every so often. One reason this book succeeds is the author guides the reader into a different way of looking at common management problems. Common solutions (those most often prescribed by the typical management books) merely exacerbate problems. In reality, management problems defy resolution via simple formulas.
Understanding why things are as they are is the first step to successfully coping with them. Things are not always as they seem. What does this mean to a manager who must solve problems like employee dissatisfaction? That is a question Farson answers extremely well. The answer is not "be a robot and do this." Instead, Farson shows you how to best use the talents, knowledge, and intelligence you already have. Farson shows you how to identify the real issues and where to look for achievable resolution.
Personally, I like a book that doesn't assume I am a programmable robot but instead helps me grow in my own area of expertise. That is why I decided to post a review of Management of the Absurd.
About these reviews
You may be wondering why the reviews here are any different from the hundreds of "reviews" posted online. Notice the quotation marks?
I've been reviewing books for sites like Amazon for many years now, and it dismays me that Amazon found it necessary to post a minimum word count for reviews. It further dismays me that it's only 20 words. If that's all you have to say about a book, why bother?
And why waste everyone else's time with such drivel? As a reader of such reviews, I feel like I am being told that I do not matter. The flippancy of people who write these terse "reviews" is insulting to the authors also, I would suspect.
This sound bite blathering taking the place of any actual communication is increasingly a problem in our mindless, blog-posting Webosphere. Sadly, Google rewards such pointlessness as "content" so we just get more if this inanity.
My reviews, contrary to current (non) standards, actually tell you about the book. I always got an "A" on a book review I did as a kid (that's how I remember it anyhow, and it's my story so I'm sticking to it). A book review contains certain elements and has a logical structure. It informs the reader about the book.
A book review may also tell the reader whether the reviewer liked it, but revealing a reviewer's personal taste is not necessary for an informative book review.
About your reviewer
About reading style
No, I do not "speed read" through these. That said, I do read at a fast rate. But, in contrast to speed reading, I read everything when I read a book for review.
Speed reading is a specialized type of reading that requires skipping text as you go. Using this technique, I've been able to consistently "max out" a speed reading machine at 2080 words per minute with 80% comprehension. This method is great if you are out to show how fast you can read. But I didn't use it in graduate school and I don't use it now. I think it takes the joy out of reading, and that pleasure is a big part of why I read.