Book Review: Confronting Reality

Confronting Reality was awful.  The celebrated authors of this book – Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan – should consider confronting the reality that the world does not need yet another tepid, uninspired business book that tries to create a “simple” construct (in this case, the notion of – tada – a “business model”) to “confront reality” and improve you business.  The construct is lame.  The examples, while somewhat interesting (EMC, Cisco, Sun, Home Depot, 3M, and Thompson) and by far the best part of the book, are still incredibly light weight stories of the transformation these companies went through recently.

I don’t know why I keep buying and reading business books like this.  They are usually such a profound disappointment.  I got suckered into this one because my favorite quote from Atlas Shrugged is Nobody stays here by faking reality in any manner whatever.”  Unfortunately, this time Bossidy and Charan faked me out.

  • I passed on this one because their previous book Execution was for the most part overhyped and substance free. Sure, “execution” (or confronting reality) in the abstract is important, but when boiled down to bite size business how-to’s, it becomes garbage. I exchanged emails w/ Matt Blumberg on this a week ago when I commented on his blog “dude, stop reading so many business books” and he replied that he actually reads a lot of non-biz but doesn’t blog about it b/c he wants to keep his blog non personal and business oriented. My reply was that he needs to publicly embrace the reality taht non-business books *help* in business thinking!

    And now i just realized i should do a blog post on this, so i’ll end up typing this twice. Darn.

  • John McCarthy

    Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

    For an entertaining example of faking reality in the corporate world check out Company: A Novel, the latest by Max Barry.


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