Stanley Bing follows his enormously successful What Would Machiavelli Do? with another subversively humorous exploration of how work would be different—if the Buddha were your personal consultant.
What would the Buddha do—if he had to deal with a rampaging elephant of a boss every day? That is the premise of Stanley Bing’s wickedly funny guide to finding inner peace in the face of relentlessly obnoxious, huge, and sometimes smelly bosses. Taking the concept of managing up to a new cosmic plateau, Bing urges no less than a revolution of the spirit in the American workplace, turning overwrought, oppressed, stressed-out employees into models of Zen-like powers of concentration, able to take their elephant-like bosses and grey, lumbering companies and twirl them around the little finger of their consciousness.
In Bing’s unique tradition of social criticism cum business self-help, Throwing the Elephant presents Four Truths (or possibly Five), a Ninefold Path, and one useful, hilarious guide to workplace sanity, success, and enlightenment that surpasses all understanding, survival.
In a spoof of just about every career advice and management-by-metaphor book ever created, Bing (What Would Machiavelli Do?) delivers a Zen-like guide to managing your boss. The premise? Here's what Buddha would tell you if he were your personal career coach. A book juxtaposing faux-Zen advice with embarrassing corporate situations (e.g., how to handle a drunken boss) is almost guaranteed to be funny. Bing, "an ultra-senior officer at an elephantine corporation," has plenty of firsthand anecdotes to tell, and he supplements them with stories about some of the notoriously toughest bosses on the planet, like Martha Stewart and Citigroup's Sandy Weill. There are chapters on critiquing your boss ("any bitter pill of criticism one offers an elephant must be buried within a vast tub of cream cheese") and "facing the angry elephant" (when you're to blame for your boss's anger, "breathe deeply. Breath is life"). Despite the amusing anecdotes, though, Bing's narrative can become a bit wearying if one reads more than a couple of chapters in one sitting. However, if an employee only breaks out Bing's book when the elephant is having a particularly bad couple of weeks, enlightenment is certain.