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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business Audio Download – Unabridged

4.2 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The premise of this book is that MBA courses are a waste of money and that just by reading business books you can learn all that you would do on a business course. In this book he sets out to provide all the basics that you will need.

He actually does a pretty good job. He is a decent writer and as far as I can tell all the information in this book is accurate. It is certainly very comprehensive. Occasionally it does seem a bit shallow and he doesn't always provide a lot of detail. A lot of this information is available for free from other sources.

His argument about MBA's providing poor value for money is convincing but there does seem a bit of a contradiction as he offers online courses that seem expensive to me. His website provides a lot of useful information for free though. He also has a reading list of 100 recommended business books.

One thing that I personally wasn't so keen was the section on "working with yourself" The information that he provides is mostly decent but he does quote from and recommend the books of several self-help bloggers who don't seem that credible to me.
I did really like the chapters on analysing and improving systems. I have a finance background and his chapter on finance seemed very credible and knowledgeable.

For a single volume it does a great job in providing the reader with the fundamentals of business. It is a lot better written than the average business book and it seems like a pretty useful resource to keep on your desk.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark : 3.5/5

As usual in this kind of book there is a lot of padding. Indeed the author writes two pages when few sentences could be enough and you will also find basic generalities such as "Be nice with your client" or "don't forget to sleep". Finally the author will never miss a chance to remind you how great this book is and how stupid it is to do a real MBA.. sensitive debate I agree but when the author does it every 10 pages it becomes unbearable.

YET, this book develops some interesting and useful ideas, and it is very easy to read. Even though you're not interested in creating your own company, you may still find this book interesting by the working methods and the psycological analyzes of human behaviour you can find and how these analyzes can be adapted to companies.

In the end I would recommend this book, even if you're not interested in entrepreneurship, but it personally did not change my life.

PS: I advise you to skip the first chapter of the book, where the author tells you how great his book is, how clever you were to buy it and how MBA schools are lame (40 pages...). And sorry for the potential mistakes in my critic, english is not my native language :)
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Format: Paperback
'A world-class business education in a single volume'... a big claim on the front cover, and one that is only partly fulfilled. Once I'd forgiven Kaufman his very extensive rant against the formal MBA programmes (one which is very geared towards the uber-corperate USA model and ignores the much more valuable workplace based experience of many of us who have done UK based MBAs) I did enjoy the broad range of subjects covered, and the concise breakdown of a variety of management theories and concepts. It is a very simple and simplistic approach to a complex subject, and does pack a huge amount of material into a relatively short and readable form. Kaufman is a huge fan of 'book based learning'; this work is result of a serious amount of time spent trawling and cherry picking from the best literature, articles, blogs, and research. He's done a lot of the hard work here for us; the list of suggested reading looks very impressive and interesting.

My criticism of the book, is that there's very little real life application. It's very thin on case studies, or encouragement to apply to your own situation... ironically it was this element that I loved the most in my 'real' MBA experience. And for a man who loves his 'book learning', there is an annoying lack of academic referencing to the many useful theories and concepts that he presents. Evidence as to which of these theories might be more useful or proven is also lacking - but Kaufman's own intuition for these things seems to be good, and certainly has earned him a lucrative career! One thing that Kaufman admits to creating himself, and an exception to my criticism about lack of application, is the excellent exercise right at the end of the book '49 questions to improve your results' which is a polished model of reflective practice.
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Format: Paperback
This book isn't as negative as you might think toward the MBA, it just asks a question. It sits on the new wave of thinking coming particularly from the US, where there is a growing awareness between of the difference between 'knowledge' and 'education'. Do you need the knowledge and core concepts for new perspectives and practical application, or do you need the accreditation on your CV? This makes sense as the American 3rd level education system is often on the scale of getting a mortgage.

Through all it's short chapters, the book sums up the core ideas and principles in an MBA course. From the dozens of great reviews at the start of the book, lots of people with MBA's found large amounts of useful informations and insights from it too.

I don't think this is going to put off that many people who are adamant about doing an MBA nor should it. But for those who don't really need the accreditation or want to take the time off work, this is an outstanding round up and clarification of the core principles to be aware of.

At present I'm building a new business. This book has helped me better analyse and then improve many facets of our product, our offer and how we go about delivering both. So for me, it has been practically applied.

Also I've bought this for a friend beginning to learn about starting and running a business, as it's an excellent grounding in all the facets and areas of planning, running and improving an enterprise.

Definitely worth buying and regularly dipping back into!
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