Throwing the Elephant – zen and art of managing up

My boss suggested I read a book or two on managing up, so I chose a few books that scored high on Amazon and were available at my local library branch. One of them was: Throwing the Elephant – zen and art of managing up.

The book is funny, but I did not find it too useful, since it mainly deals with Executive Level management. Here are quick points I remember from the book. It starts with the zen idea that nothing matters that much – we all are part of corporation, there is no self, there is no boss. Sit up, breathe, drop your ego, cheer up – remember nothing matters.

If you are willing and able to work, it gives you incredible power – since elephant does not want to return to do it. When meeting the creature look it in the eyes, look your best, and say minimal hello unless you know a lot about it already – e.g. it behooves you to study it before meeting. Language is self – learn the language! Know it’s likes and dislikes and feed it e-mails starting early in the morning to late at night. Compliment the creature. Smile.

Disobeying the elephant, which means wrong obeying, pestering disputation, non-obeying with delays. Mention, suggest to it about other people feeling, do not tell, imply. Praise it for humane actions. Convince the elephant the idea was of it’s own making. Take credit for things well done. Learn how to lead the elephant (ideas) and throw the elephant 🙂

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