There are a lot of business books out there. I’ve read a lot of great ones, but I’ve barely scratched the surface. The Library of Congress has indexed over a million business-related books. Invariably, almost all of them start out with the author qualifying themselves. In short, they want to explain why you should take their advice.
A good warning indicator that the book you’re about to read should be taken with a grain of salt is if the introduction has been obviously combed over by a marketer to embellish limited experience until it sounds like the person single-handedly invented quantitative analysis.
Here are a few examples:
“I was fortunate enough to participate in the Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS program, which is essentially an MBA at the undergraduate level.”
Translation: “I had a terrible GMAT score.”
“I landed a management position at a Fortune 50 company — Procter & Gamble — during my second year of college.”
Translation: “I got an internship that had the word ‘manager’ in it at Procter & Gamble.”
“Andy doesn’t have an MBA — he studied electrical engineering in college. He’s now one of the company’s top global IT managers, responsible for leading many of P&G’s largest projects.”
Translation: “You may think middle-management is for the birds, but I’m here to convince you to lower your aspirations!”
“During my first three years with the company, I participated in decisions across every part of the business process.”
Translation: “I attended meetings.”
This last one is my favorite. “I participated in decisions…” You didn’t make decisions, you participated in them. So if I had an idea and you were like, “that’s a good idea,” does that mean you participated?