Chapter 2

Rational management skills: dealing with problems, tasks and money

Being a smart manager is different from being a smart intellectual. Brilliant professors rarely emerge as great managers. Conversely, many of the best entrepreneurs today are college dropouts. Bill Gates, Lawrence Ellison, Li Ka-shing, Mark Zuckerberg and Amancio Ortega have all made billions without the need for a degree. They are all among the top 20 richest people in the world.

Asking great managers what makes them great is an exercise in toadying and ingratiation that yields little more than platitudes and self-congratulation. I have tried it: it is not an exercise worth doing once, let alone repeating. For the most part, they will talk about things like experience ...

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