Why I Am Not A Management Writer

It has been some time since I havee put podgy finger to keyboard, but better late than never, I suppose. 

As some of you may remember, I have been in the corporate world for over 25 years. Correction – I was in the corporate world for over 25 years. During that time, I did read management books, the HBR and the McKinsey Quarterly and magazines of that ilk. 

A colleage of mine quit the corporate world, and became a professor. He is now teaching in Australia. When he read some of my earlier blog posts on leadership, he sniffed and told me that they were not scholarly enough, and would not be taken seriously in the management/ academic world. There was not enough research in them. There was too much story telling, and I did not postulate theories, refute some, or support others. 

In short, I would never make it as a management writer. 

His words got Esmerelda a bit pissed, and she started to rattle her web in my brain. Esmerelda is the spider who resides in my brain, and makes me write all this weird stuff that I sometimes write. 

I have always believed that people essentially love conversations and stories. They learn a lot from them. I do research on the stuff that I  write, but I prefer to try and add some spice to the subject matter. 

I also must confess that when I read management books and articles, I start to feel drowsy, and so I generally read them at night to ensure I get a good night’s sleep. No tossing and turning after i read some of the stuff that is published. 

Similarly, I attend management conferences essentially to meet people during the coffee / tead and lunch breaks. Most speakers dish out the same tired jokes that they dished out ten years ago, and present stuff that their secretary has preparerd for them. 

Management books do serve a purpose – to communicate some of the best practices that prevail in various parts of the world. Yet, they are so damned boring. Oh my (non-existent) God! They are so boring and pedanitic. 

So, I ook my friend’s feedback to heart, thanked him, and allowed Esmerelda to get on with her work of making me write all the weird shit that I do.

I am happier this way, and so (I am sure),is he…


  1. I read a fair number of management books as well, but the lessons that have always resounded with me were always hidden in stories. To each their own. I prefer your style.

  2. I find the acedemic writing is boring too. Judging by the economy and the management’s failure to meet the needs of the corporate world, I dont think we are the only ones, Rajiv. The academics seem to be stuck in yesterday. Tell Esmerelda she doesn’t have to worry.

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