Bargepole Management is a business self-help book that breaks the mold—it’s not about improving yourself or achieving success through your own skills and merits, instead, it posits the theory of how managing information and perceptions of yourself through the “bargepole” system and approach can help you succeed regardless of how good (or bad) you are at your job. The book starts with an exploration of what bargepoling is, followed by “types” of bargepolers, from “the aristocrat” who projects an image of quality control to the “enchanter,” who uses optimism and friendliness. From there, the author tackles topics such as “self-accept psychology,” detaching performance from quantifiable measurements, and step-by-step implementation of his theories.
"As far as management books go, Bargepole Management is something of a rare gem. The premise steers clear of the cliché business management titles that attempt to inspire young hopefuls into donating their lives to the cause. It throws out the overused CEO quotes, routine back-breaking ideologies and rituals we're told to adopt in order to be successful. Instead, it replaces them with insight into an age-old management style that we may be fully accustomed to, but without realizing. It's one that requires minimum effort, but offers maximum gain. You don't have to be a good footballer to be a successful football coach. Everyone can be a bargepole manager. This book just teaches you how to sustain it." (Joe Lipscombe, forbesmiddleeast.com)
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Don't get bargepoled. Save your money.
Vandell's utterly thought-provoking theory is something I've never encountered before.
Ron's voice and diction make this audiobook a pleasurable experience.
The first time I encountered the line "maximum gain for minimal effort", it stopped me on my tracks and I thought, "that was pure genius."
This book is shaking the business world to its very core, and for good reason: it exposes the real dynamics within corporate and even governmental leadership, and shows us why despite monumental failures, nobody was severely punished in the financial disasters that have been unleashed in the world in the past decades or so. If you’re like me who have been grumbling about the “blessings” that are being given to those who are perceived to be less talented or skilful, then read this book and finally “get” it. And once you understand how it all works, you can proceed to the next step: take advantage of what you learn.
I absolutely love how Vandell used a semi-fictional approach in fleshing out the theory with the use of characters (Charles, Dave and Bill). I have met a lot of Dave, Charles and Bill in my life that I found myself nodding in assent as I read the book. This is one of the hallmarks of Vandell’s work—it is never highfaluting, always striving to make everything as plain and simple, yet it never fails to astonish. Even the simple headline “how to create your unfair advantage” made me do a double-take—these are business principles turned on their heads, and they make sense.
This book is an absolute must-read—from students, to bankers, to managers, to rank-and-file employees. If you want to see how the world is really run, understand the principles that are used by people to create (or simulate) value and indispensability, this is the book for you. There’s no going around it. Get it now. I highly recommend.