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How to Be a Successful Bastard Paperback – 24 Sep 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: SB Publishing (24 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955771617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955771613
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In his fiftieth year, Adrian balances his full-time Vice President role for the largest Business Application Software company in the world, where he leads the Services division in a region that covers 95 countries, spread across 13 time zones, including Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, CIS and the Middle East, with his entrepreneurial interests in property and publishing. Adrian was born, educated and spent most of his life based in South-East London, England, but now lives in Dubai, UAE, although few would know this because he travels continuously.

One of four brothers, he is a proud husband and father to four grown-up daughters and grandfather to six grandchildren. Adrian has a passion for life and people. He exudes a rare and powerful wisdom, founded on having always lived his life to the full, often at a breakneck pace, mostly as a high-achiever, at a younger than average age. He believes strongly that life is not a dress rehearsal or a popularity contest, that you make your own luck and that anything is possible given the will to achieve it. He has always had an infectious, gently rebellious and impatient nature, challenging the norms and the status-quo. This has often meant he has operated beyond his years intuitively. He never felt out of place as a committed smoker at seven years of age, drinking a beer and a chaser in London pubs in his school uniform at lunchtime at 14 or working in several jobs at 15. Nor did it seem strange to get married whilst still at secondary school, or to father two children by age 19 or become a proud grandfather at the age of 35.

He has almost always been the youngest and fastest achiever amongst his peers, so has had a wealth of sparkling opportunity to gain wisdom beyond his years throughout his life. Adrian has never been afraid to take risks, sometimes calculated sometimes not, and to push himself and those around him beyond their comfort zones. In his early years his assessment and consideration of risk was considered a waste of energy, but advancing years have rounded off most of his boyish recklessness. In simple terms, he has always found living an 'ordinary' life uncomfortably restrictive, often unbearably so, and could not have lived any other way, ever-fearful that boredom might strike a mortal blow to his spirit.

Today, when he is not working as a senior executive globally, building his business interests or looking after his family, he still finds some time to write, play Golf, practice Tai Chi and Chi Gung, write popular song lyrics, listen to music and, mainly whilst travelling, watch all the top movies as soon as they are released, usually by skipping on a sensible approach to sleeping.

He has been sporty, though now less so, playing Rugby in the UK for 20 years and achieving proficiency in squash and martial arts, having studied Judo and Kung Fu. He enjoys physicality and the general rough-and-tumble of a busy, driven, hard-working life, having been well-prepared for it through his contact sports career and 'hard-knocks' London schooling. Whilst he is often perceived as being tough and uncompromising in business, he is highly personable, empathetic and considerate of others and it is from this 'natural' balance that he can see, illustrate, apply, explain and equate the many characteristics needed in 'successful' behaviour, from saintly generosity to the unforgivably dishonourable and deceptive. He also has a sharpened sense of humour, which enables him to use amusing examples and anecdotes to get meaningful and, when necessary, unpalatable truths across to others.

Adrian's writing has been critically acclaimed from his pre-school years to-date and he has been published several times in a variety of journals. In 2007, he launched his own publishing company, 'SB Publishing,' to gain experience in the publishing industry and as a commercial vehicle to bring a series of books about success to the market. These books have a marked difference from those written in the typical 'US-style' Self-Help genre; his being far more direct, incisive, hard-hitting, profound and thought provoking than most others. Adrian knows how hard success is to achieve and his experience perfectly supports him challenging commonly held beliefs about success and allows him to balance the subject by taking the extremes of personal and real-world examples to make his points most vivid and understandable.

Adrian has always been fascinated by what it takes to be successful, and he has fine-tuned a recognition of the absurdity and innate nastiness of wealth- and power-building behaviours versus the softer and nicer side of most people in business. He has swum and fought with the biggest 'sharks' in business worldwide and in his personal business ventures and, coupled with his naturally British relaxed and innately amusing approach to life, he manages to deliver a thorough dissection of the valuable characteristics of successful people, from multiple perspectives and makes it a pleasant and entertaining experience for the reader, in some cases even a life-changing experience.

Through his crystal clear exploration of 100+ ways to be more self-centred, tough, ruthless and unpredictable, he enables the reader to see that the behaviour of truly successful people demands a much darker side than many unsuccessful people would imagine. As many reviewers of his writing have said, his books are probably the only self-help books anyone need really ever read. Although Adrian would agree 100% with this belief, his desire not to appear so obviously conceited would stop him from ever admitting it publicly and he would rather you bought and read his books and judged for yourself.

Product Description


Self-centred, tough, ruthless and unpredictable: these are the characteristics of a successful person, according to a book published this week. How to be a Successful Bastard is the work of Adrian Maile, who in his spare time holds down a senior post at software company SAP. Maile denies being a bastard himself (I actually think I m quite a nice bloke) but argues behaviours most people find despicable will help you get ahead. 'I use successful bastard almost as a term of endearment,' he says. 'You have a sneaking admiration for these individuals, even though they are deplorable, because they are doing things that you don't have the courage to do yourself.' 'We all know these people,' says Maile, 'just look around your workplace. They won t necessarily act evil all the time, but they will be able to turn on bastard techniques when needed.' Over 15 years of observation, Maile has made a list of 100 such techniques, including detestable traits like blaming everyone but yourself, ignoring those who are unable to do anything for you, delegating (successful bastards only do what is necessary themselves) and being abrupt (send very short, de-personalised e-mails). It sounds like a very cynical book, or a very angry one, but Maile argues he is simply highlighting truths about our business culture that we prefer not to face. People can use the book to defend themselves against this sort of behaviour, or those who are simply too nice can adopt some of these habits themselves to get what they want. I don't recommend anyone operates with the full 100 they would become a highly unlikeable individual, he remarks. There s surely another caveat to be added here. I once interviewed a company CEO who struck me as one of the gentlest, most laid-back and civilised individuals I had ever spoken to. A little later, a colleague met this man at a dinner: he came across as insufferably arrogant, boorish and bordering on the sleazy (the CEO that is, not my colleague). Of course, that didn t entirely cancel out my first impression of him, but it underlined the point that above all, successful bastards are good at disguising the fact they are bastards at least when they meet journalists. --Nick Britton - Editor - Business XL and

'Nice' won't get you anywhere - Author's entertaining and witty take on the dark arts of clawing your way to the top. No need to labour the point about Hitler, we agree, 'But really, it seems that some of the most messed up people can be the most successful and concentrate so much of the world's wealth in their hands.' He attributes this fact to the fact that most humans operate in a culture based on subliminal fear where those armed with just a few underhand tools can bully and exploit their way to power: 'American self-help books like to argue, 'Be nice to everybody and everything will be lovely', but that's simply not true. 'You have to have some steel too. I do not believe that just because he wears a wooly jumper that (Sir Richard) Branson is not a ruthless businessman.' Rather than a step-by-step guide to becoming a bastard, he hopes the book will be thought-provoking entertainment and has set up a web-site where people can have their own boss rated on the bastardometer. --Andy Rogers, Kent on Sunday

Why be a Wuss? In the quest to become all powerful, a bit of bullying - OK, a whole lot of intimidation, double dealing, betrayal, treachery, misinformation, double-speak, lying, rudeness and harsh criticism - is perfectly fine. If you are good at it, you'll succeed. This is an hilarious book which should be required reading for anyone thinking of embarking on a career in the commercial sector. --Mike Scialom, Cambridge Business, Q4 2009

About the Author

Adrian Maile is a senior sales executive with a major international software company, a non-executive director for two fast-moving IT companies and is founder and CEO of a publishing company. Whilst he is enough of a bastard to have achieved a high degree of personal success he manages to see the funny side of how very successful people really operate, despite what they might try to make everyone believe.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fahrenheit452 on 20 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
A friend of mine bought this for me as a present (apparently I am too nice) and I really had a good time reading it an thinking through all of the 'bastardly' advice.

The book is basically a list of ways to be a bastard in your office with a funny description of each tip - such as 'don't tell anyone anything' or 'work to your own schedule'. While the advice is all given in good humour I cannot help thinking that I know a lot of people with the bastard traits in the book. And what's more, they really do have better jobs than I do.

A funny read that is also surpringly informative.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. T. L. Loftus on 15 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
It will come as no great surprise to those that know me (especially those that i have fired over the years), that this book strikes a particular chord with me. My husband bought it for me recently and I could tell from his look that he thought I would be mildly hurt with the implication that it was in fact about me !! Nothing could be further from the truth.. the book had me in stiches as i saw in it myself and my many attributes lorded and mused upon in such unerringly familiar detail.... It is a great read for those that can objectively look at their deeds and hold their hand up to being flagged as an out and out b'stard.... Good on you Mr Maile, for you have put down in words what some of us have taken a lifetime to achieve.. Real bastards will love this book as much as those that dont realise that they are bastards will hate it..... I feel reinvigorated and will press on with my bartardly ways, especially over the festive season when those weaker than myself are at their most vunerable !!!!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gcrikey on 12 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
not funny, not amusing, just plain boring. complete waste of money. you wont become successful reading this rubbish. it's a shame that toilet paper is less expensive if you know what i mean!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
HUGE disappointment! 18 Oct. 2012
By Reji - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Definitely not a "how-to" guide I would recommend... not even for a piss-take! What a disappointment... total waste of time it took to even download the book.
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