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Myths of Management

Myths of Management

What People Get Wrong About Being the Boss

Stefan Stern, Cary Cooper

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Uncover the myths that dominate popular conceptions of management, and become a better manager with this compelling, well-researched and practical guide.

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About the book

Is it really true that working longer hours makes you more successful? Do you really need to hide your emotions in order to gain respect as a manager? Does higher pay really always lead to higher performance?

The world of management is blighted by fads, fiction and falsehoods. In Myths of Management, Cary Cooper and Stefan Stern take you on an entertaining journey through the most famous myths surrounding the much-written about topic of management. They debunk false assumptions, inject truth into over-simplifications and tackle damaging habits head-on. Fascinating insights from psychology, leadership theory and organizational behaviour provide you with a compelling and practical guide to avoid falling into the trap of cliché, misinformation and prejudice. This engaging read offers you authentic insights into the reality of work, drawn from extensive research and real-world business examples, to give you the essential knowledge you need to become a better manager.

Whether cheesy, naïve or even destructive, management myths could be holding you back and stifling your team's potential. Myths of Management is the guide you need to become an enlightened manager.

Table Of Contents

    • Chapter - 00: Introduction;
    • Chapter - 01: Myth 1 - There is One Right Way to Lead or Manage;
    • Chapter - 02: Myth 2 - It’s Tough at the Top;
    • Chapter - 03: Myth 3 - Long Hours Will Lead to Success;
    • Chapter - 04: Myth 4 - It’s Important Not to Show Vulnerability or Doubt;
    • Chapter - 05: Myth 5 - It’s Lonely at the Top;
    • Chapter - 06: Myth 6 - You Need to be the Smartest Person in the Room;
    • Chapter - 07: Myth 7 - Hierarchy is Finished;
    • Chapter - 08: Myth 8 - Consistency is Essential;
    • Chapter - 09: Myth 9 - Only Hire People Who Will Fit In;
    • Chapter - 10: Myth 10 - Leadership is More Important than Management;
    • Chapter - 11: Myth 11 - You Have to Pay Top Dollar to Get the Right Person;
    • Chapter - 12: Myth 12 - Annual Appraisals Help You Manage Performance;
    • Chapter - 13: Myth 13 - Information Must be Controlled and Limited;
    • Chapter - 14: Myth 14 - … but Women Don’t Really Want Top Jobs;
    • Chapter - 15: Myth 15 - Leaders are Born Not Made;
    • Chapter - 16: Myth 16 - Your First 100 Days in a New Job are Make or Break;
    • Chapter - 17: Myth 17 - You Have to Know Everything that is Going On;
    • Chapter - 18: Myth 18 - Heroic Leaders Can Change Entire Organizations on their Own;
    • Chapter - 19: Myth 19 - The Boss with the Best Strategy Wins;
    • Chapter - 20: Myth 20 - It is Not Possible to Work Flexibly in Senior Roles;
    • Chapter - 21: Myth 21 - Pay Must be Kept Confidential;
    • Chapter - 22: Myth 22 - Psychology is Psychobabble and there’s No Need or Place for it;
    • Chapter - 23: Myth 23 - The Robots are Coming to Take Your Job;
    • Chapter - 24: Myth 24 - Leadership Must Be Transformational;
    • Chapter - 25: Myth 25 - Conformity Leads to Success;
    • Chapter - 26: Myth 26 - Feelings are Soft and for Losers;
    • Chapter - 27: Myth 27 - Keep Your Distance if You Want Respect;
    • Chapter - 28: Myth 28 - Be Yourself -- It’s All About Authenticity;
    • Chapter - 29: Myth 29 - Date of Birth is Destiny;
    • Chapter - 30: Myth 30 - People are Motivated by Money;
    • Chapter - 31: Myth 31 - Fear Works and ‘Engagement’ is Unnecessary;
    • Chapter - 32: Myth 32 - The Business Case Will Always Prove Persuasive;
    • Chapter - 33: Myth 33 - There’s Nothing Wrong with the Business, there’s just a Few Rotten Apples;
    • Chapter - 34: Myth 34 - We Have Woken Up to the Problems Caused by Prejudice;
    • Chapter - 35: Myth 35 - All the Power Resides at the Top;
    • Chapter - 36: Myth 36 - People Will Learn if you Explain Things to them Clearly;
    • Chapter - 37: Myth 37 - You Must Keep Up with all the New Management Ideas and Give Them a Try;
    • Chapter - 38: Myth 38 - You’ve Got to Talk Like a Real, Serious, Grown-Up Business Person. Learn the Jargon;
    • Chapter - 39: Myth 39 - You Can’t Manage People if You Can’t See Them;
    • Chapter - 40: Myth 40 - Who Needs Employees Anyway? Get With the Gig Economy;
    • Chapter - 41: Myth 41 - People Hate Change;
    • Chapter - 42: Myth 42 - Big Data Will Fix Everything;
    • Chapter - 43: Myth 43 - A Cool Office Will Make Everybody More Creative;
    • Chapter - 44: Myth 44 - There are Only 44 Things to Get Wrong


This book is so true, so sensible and so snappily written, I wish I had written it myself. If every business person read it, all managerial stupidity would wither away.
Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times

I consider myself to be reasonably sophisticated, rather subtle in my thinking processes. Hence, I am almost horrified that I can find absolutely nothing in Myths of Management with which I disagree. Sure, I might have said this or that a bit differently, with Ban emphasis on X instead of Y. But in the end, I buy the act. You may well not go 44 for 44 in assessing the authors' arguments, but I do offer a guarantee. You will be challenged 44 times, and it's almost impossible to imagine that you will get anything other than a sky high return on investment from reading-and seriously reflecting-on virtually every page in the book. Bonus: It's fun to read, too. I suspect that you, as I, will chuckle many a time at the degree to which you've fallen into one of the traps Stefan Stern and Cary Cooper expose.
Tom Peters, World's Leading Management Guru

Stefan and Cary have summarised all the daft things I have seen written about management into one place and then dispatched them as myths by providing great common sense insights in plain English which we can understand. For anyone wanting to manage - creating the conditions for others to succeed-this is a must read book
Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman of Debenhams and Former CEO of Kingfisher PLC

The business of management is crucial - but prone to myth. In this fascinating book Stern & Cooper bring wit and courage to show what it takes to go beyond the hype and to become an insightful - and perhaps even brilliant manager.
Professor Lynda Gratton, London Business School

Reports of the death of management are hugely exaggerated. We still do it - poorly - and we still need better insight how to do it well. Stern and Cooper have exhumed and exorcised some of the deadlier myths still haunting corporate boardrooms and do a terrific job identifying vital ways to do the true hard work of managing.
Margaret Heffernan, Writer, Business Leader and Consultant

If we want to improve the productivity of the economy what happens within organizations is key. Leadership and management are both important. Yet for decades we have worshipped leadership (leading to excessive pay for many CEOs) and have undervalued management. In this brilliant book Stefan Stern and Cary Cooper ?debunk the myths that have encouraged bad practices. As the authors argue, open, humble, inclusive, listening leadership and management are essential - and they can be learned. Read this cracker of a book!
Vicky Pryce, Former Joint Head of the UK Government's Economic Service

Management matters - but is misunderstood. In this book two very experienced observers skilfully take apart common misconceptions about the theory and practice of management. Their clear thinking helps us to discover how good management can positively make organisations more productive and satisfying work places.This is a timely and provocative book-it deserves to be widely read.
Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, Authors of Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?

Stern and Cooper have written a wonderful book to remind us of the basic, beyond-the-hype, essence of management. Purely and simply, it 's about the people.
Herminia Ibarra

Book Details

  • EAN: 9780749480233
  • Edition: 1
  • Published: 3rd October 2017
  • Paperback
  • Format: 235x157
  • 248 pages
  • Series: Business Myths

About the Author

Stefan Stern writes for the Guardian and the FT, where he was the management columnist between 2006 and 2010. He is visiting professor in management practice at Cass Business School and is Director of the High Pay Centre.
Sir Cary Cooper CBE is the 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. He is President of the CIPD, President of the British Academy of Management and Editor-in-Chief of the Blackwell/Wiley Encyclopedia of Management.

Stefan Stern

Cary Cooper

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