Friday, November 06, 2009

Non-Fiction: Harvard Business School Confidential by Emily Chan

It would be inaccurate and possibly even ridiculous to suggest that Harvard Business School Confidential (Wiley & Sons) distills four difficult years into one very lucid book. And yet, when you read it, that’s more or less how it makes you feel.

We get right down to business from the very beginning: there’s just no messing around:
Most parents and teachers would tell you: Study hard in school, get a good job, receive a good salary, and live happily ever after.” …. There is nothing wrong with getting a good job if you just want a stable life …. However, to most Harvard Business School (HBS) Students, “getting a good job” is a means, not an end.
HBS, author Emily Chan tells us, “teaches you to differentiate between two types of income: linear and investment” and then she goes on to explain “How Money Works” in a chapter of the same name. If you’re not a Harvard Business School Grad; if you’re just a normal schmuck, like me, some of this is absolutely mind-blowing stuff. Chapter headings offer hints as to why: “Speak So People Will Listen,” “It’s Who You Know,” “You Can Negotiate Anything,” and my personal favorite, “Plans Are Nothing.”

A year-and-a-half, maybe two years ago, I wouldn’t have cared about a whole lot of this stuff. Now, though: the world has changed. There’s things I didn’t care about then that I know I need to care about now, before it’s entirely too late. Harvard Business School Confidential gives one the feeling that understanding it all is an attainable goal.

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