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What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-Smart Executive
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What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-Smart Executive

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,196 ratings  ·  168 reviews
This business classic features straight-talking advice you'll never hear in school.

Featuring a new foreword by Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell

Mark H. McCormack, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in American business, is widely credited as the founder of the modern-day sports marketing industry. On a handshake with Arnold Palmer and less than a thousand dollars,
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 1986 by Bantam (first published 1984)
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3.66  · 
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 ·  2,196 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Loy Machedo
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
First and foremost - Who is Mark McCormack?
Mark Hume McCormack (November 6, 1930 – May 16, 2003) was an American lawyer, sports agent and writer. He was the founder and chairman of International Management Group, now IMG, an international management organization serving sports figures and celebrities.

McCormack was featured as one of the Forbes 400 Richest Americans in 1995, 1998, 2001. In 1990, he was named the "Most Powerful Man in Sports" by The Sporting News. His impact on the Sporting World
You fell for the word "Harvard". Didn't you?
At least I did, when I bought this book almost 20 years ago, as a dreamy-eyed teenager harbouring aspirations of being part of an IVY League Business School.
Found it in the bottom of my unread shelf few days back, and decided to give it a go.
Few pages into it, I realized when Mr. McCormack wrote this book, he didn't intend to have me - a cynic, possibly entering into mid-life crisis, as a reader.
Naturally, they don't teach all these in Harvard Busine
Apr 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filled with anecdotes and not many concrete strategies, "What They Don't Teach You" is an interesting collection of advice from a guy who's "been there." This book seems like something you might want to keep on your shelf and open up once in a while when you get stuck or need some good ideas.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Pretty disappointing in both content and form. It is basic common sense stuff...which they don't teach in HBS, probably because you are supposed to know this stuff early or intuitively.
Sneh Asnani
Oct 03, 2013 rated it liked it
The book is about management strategies from the Marck which he had learnt during his career of working for various clients, starting his own firm and growing it. The tone of the book is prescriptive throughout and it makes you feel that someone is constantly teaching you the do's and dont's of business.
If you have spent a couple of years in the industry already, you would already know most of the gyan. The examples are from Mark's real life, who runs a firm dealing with sports marketing and st
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One guy's takeaway from working in business. I liked his tips about negotiating and basically creating connections (e.g. by giving small favours). The writing style is also great. It's a good introduction into white collar life (navigating the business world).
Anastasia Alén
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would warmly recommend this book to anyone aiming to lead people and in general to anyone working in office environment.
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Selling is what they don't teach you at Harvard Business School. ;-) Of course the book is loaded with useful facts from a real-world businessman. Street smarts will love this one from the late Mark McCormack.
J. R. Martin
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read many years ago when tarnsitioning from the Navy to civilian life. Very insightful. Should be required reading for all college graduates.
Kai Crawford
A lot of good business advice. A lot of contradicting advice too but so is life and one has to deal with that somehow... There were some examples that were too difficult for me to comprehend. I think it was a useful book but could not get into it for some reason.
Major Doug
Dec 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Read it based upon dated hype; that was a mistake. Got more out of the Epilogue than the rest of the book.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Similar to Ray Dalio's Work Principle. Hard hitting baby boomer. Great insight into head honcho's perspective.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Some good tips, some bad tips, but in any case, the storytelling is awful. If this was written well, I'd probably remember ten different ideas out of this book for a few years as I'm a lover of a small amount of arrogance in writing, but now I'm stuck with one. Let's see how long it stays.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: entrepreneurship
Disclaimer: The author hasn't done a Harvard MBA, but has given guest lectures there. The central idea of the book is that things not taught at Harvard essentially can't be taught in a classroom but can only be learnt from real life experiences.

The book is an easy to read set of guidelines/daily practices to follow in order to increase your own productivity. McCormack gives a lot of great examples from his own life which make this a very interesting read. The one part I couldn't quite follow, ho
Joe Thacker
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
The very first business book I ever read, my grandma bought it for me from the Cole's bookstore in Lethbridge when I was in grade 10. Not a very good book, but I have fond memories of starting my long path of learning.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by someone earning about 4x my salary so I thought I had better read it and take it seriously.

I made 144 kindle highlights in the books so that shows there was a lot of information that I found useful.

The author also works in a very interesting industry representing sports stars, some sports governing bodies and some companies that want to use celebrities to enhance their image or sales.
These stories helped keep the book interesting.

Once thing to note is that the
Keith Millar
Reading this book was like opening a time capsule.Its like stepping back into a time of telex machines secretaries calling for their boss and Mad Men were at their height of power. I think I read the book when it first came out and it was relevant and hot. How times change or maybe your memory dims.
That said I did get a number of points which I highlighted and valued. Possibly stuff I did know but had forgotten. It was a good investment in both time and money.
I look for 3 points of information I
Tran Hao Thien
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skill
The book is about management strategies from the Marck which he had learnt during his career of working for various clients, starting his own firm and growing it. The tone of the book is prescriptive throughout and it makes you feel that someone is constantly teaching you the do's and dont's of business.
If you have spent a couple of years in the industry already, you would already know most of the gyan. The examples are from Mark's real life, who runs a firm dealing with sports marketing and stu
Amari Kadura
Mar 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Generally basic and full of old concepts. I mean, if you are looking to learn more about business history a 45-year-old book might be great, but if you are looking for an isight into the world of business today, you might want to read a more recent text. McCormack tells some interesting stories about famous individuals in his circle if that is of interest to you, though it is shocking all the pronouns used are 'him' - except those of secretaries - secretaries are always a 'she', considering in 1 ...more
Stacey Grippen
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It’s not as formulaic as other books, which is kind of good in a way, because it’s a more intimate read with the author. In a way, it’s kind of like Trump’s “Art of the Deal”.

One of the best parts about the book is that McCormack details a lot of other high profile businessmen and it’s really eye opening how many of these are really normal people. So, it’s encouraging to hear all these mega wealthy people who have similar ideas to you.

I bought it for $20 and I though
Tanmay Jadhav
The book is very comprehensive and surely keeps it's promise of informing you of things "they don't teach you at Harvard"

Yet, the book does get very repetitive and boring after a point and certainly becomes a drag unless you aren't in Business school or working in management.

I'd definitely suggest reading the first half of the book that outlines the general principles you could start implementing right now.

I guess I'll just have to circle back to my bookmarks here someday.

-Tanmay J.
Mr. Brightside
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
The title is excellent marketing. But the book is simply an amalgamation of common sense and advice often repeated in articles from Forbes or Business Insider. I do, however, like the anecdotes and examples from the author on how he tackled situations and issues. It gives us laymen a glimpse on how top executives and entrepreneurs do it at the big leagues. The question is, how can we confirm the validity of these anecdotes?
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Immensely dated (originally published mid-80s, but most references are to sports stars famous in the 60s/70s), and mostly stating the obvious, there's still some useful/interesting stuff in here, so it's still worth skimming through.

But McCormack doesn't half come across as an unpleasant, manipulative arsehole who thinks everyone else is an idiot (while considering himself a paragon of genius and virtue). I guess that's what he thinks it takes to succeed in business...
Nitinkumar Gove
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is surely a must-read for every entrepreneur. Throughout the book the author has shared practical business tips about different aspects of business world. I really liked the way author has elaborated his recommendations using real life scenarios from his personal experience as a businessman.
Would like to warn future readers to strictly not read this in one go; rather go through a ‘read-practice-repeat’ pattern.
5 STARS !!!
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is not only useful for MBA candidates but also for professionals who have long been in the business for a couple of years but they should read this with a beginner's mindset. As the author states in the last pages of his book, you shouldn't fall into the trap of liking the book because you may find yourself doing exactly what McCormack is doing. Being almost 10 years in the corporate world now, I wish I have read this before I graduated.
Strongly recommended.
Jonathan Cons
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found the book to be quite basic, highlighting a lot of business tactics that should naturally be common sense i.e. meeting people to increase the chance of doing business together and speaking in a simplistic manner not to alienate people.
I found the nature of Mark repeatedly name dropping the CEOs that he had met fairly repetitive and mundane. I struggled through the last half of the book.
Shravan Venkataraman
This book is great. Most of the book is from an employee standpoint, what you should do as an employee at a firm, doing your work after your MBA or in a role that is usually reserved for MBAs. The audio program is even shorter, offering nothing new. It may have been one of the pioneering books, but so painfully out of date.
Ruben Lozano
I really enjoyed reading this book. I don't feel like this book is for me 100% of the pages. However, I found really interesting some of the chapters. In this book, you can find all the ins and outs of everyday big corporate business life.
If you are a boss or you are the CEO of a company more than 50 employees you should read this book.
Powell Omondi
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
A memoir from Mack McCormark on key lessons he has learnt while building IMG, this is similar to what Jack Welch has in his book "Winning". I had high expectation when starting out but was utterly disappointed. However, there are some good takeaways that one can learn.
A key point to note: The title is misleading and does not correspond to the content.
I was putting off reading this book for quite a long time but when I picked it up I was very presently surprised. it's an amazing book with a lot of knowledge. I read that some complain that it's common sense, sure, a lot of it is, LIKE EVERY SINGLE BOOK, e.g. purple cow is a whole book about common sense no new info however this book offers a lot new which will teach mamy business people.
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