Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The E-Myth Manager: Why Management Doesn't Work - and What to Do About It
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on September 18, 1999
This book was a real disapointment. I really enjoyed Gerber's "E-Myth Revisited", and I was expecting something similar in this book -- wrong. After summarily lambasting practically every management practice, he offers his solution; which was written in a "One-minute Management" -story style. The book was little more than an expensive promotional piece for his consulting services. It told just enough to get you interested in learning more, but there was nothing tangible that you could really take and use in your business practice. Lots of philisophical fluff -- little substance.
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on November 17, 2001
This book is less enjoyable than Michael Gerber's original E-Myth Revisited super-success. However, it still has extremely valuable lessons to share with its readers.

In my opinion, you really NEED to read E-Myth Revisited BEFORE you get and read this book, as much of it's content and teachings requires a good understanding of the concepts and ideas he talks about in his previous bestseller. Believe me when I say that reading E-Myth Revisited will be worth your time and effort, so please do get your hands on it.

E-Myth Manager deals with the subject of Management in a way that most managers would probably never have thought of. He suggests managers need to think of themselves as mini-entrepreneurs within their organisation, and act accordingly. I suspect most managers (and business owners) reading this book will be somewhat horrified at Gerber's heretical ideas, but if you take the time to read the book fully and truly understand what it's trying to teach you, you will (hopefully) come to a realisation that Gerber's ideas are not as dumb as you may initially have thought. :-)

It took me time to understand that what he was recommending was a PARADIGM shift in the thinking of managers and business owners - one that would empower and respect all of them as both individuals AND business people.

In my opinion, MANY business owners and managers have set up an adversarial environment in their workplace, which explains why their staff are never as dedicated, loyal, accurate and hard working as they would like. Yet the STUPID thing is that many businesses continue to perpetuate that self-destructive model, all in the pursuit of the short-term buck! One of the very reasons trade unions exist (and cause problems for many companies) is solely because of this adversarial model (just for the record: by no means am I implying or saying that trade unions are perfect either!), and until managers and business owners understand that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in their company is a individual human being first, and treat them with basic respect and value their contribution, things probably won't improve much.

E-Myth Manager, while not a thesis on worker/management matters, does cover the value created when all employees are given basic respect and treated as individuals, and vice versa. Managers are often the people implementing these policies and procedures, so it's valuable for them to see the big picture.

Gerber paints a picture that shows current day management as archaic and ineffective. In fact, he even goes so far as to say it is partially responsible for some of the more common problems in many businesses today, and why.

Now, don't go getting all defensive on me. Gerber is NOT taking cheap shots at managers, just for the sake of selling his book. Rather, he is trying to show current managers and owners a better way - one that will improve everybody's life in business.

As I said at the top of this review, while I found this book less enjoyable than his original E-Myth Revisited, it was still an extremely valuable read, and it deserves a 4 star rating, if only for it's ideas, if not for its delivery.
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on May 22, 2005
I was hired as a cable subcontractor last summer, under the assumption that the contract owner was going to make me his company manager and crew supervisor. Knowing more about public relations, marketing and journalism than management, I did what any good college student would do - I ordered some books and got to studying.

Michael Gerber's books sounded good in the summaries and had promising endorsements and blurbs on the jackets, but they were misleading. His books (Manager and Contractor) have little in the way of tangible methods and practices that you can jot down into notes and use. The book seemed to focus on anecdotes and points that were spread out over so many meaningless paragraphs that their consistency was almost that of vapor.

As I said, I tried taking notes. Or, more accurately, I sat there with a pad of paper and pen on the verge of jotting something down. None of it seemed worthy of the effort and what little of value there was was spread out over so many pages of verbosity that the undertaking would have been headache inducing.

This book, and his others, seem to be aimed at managers who need self-help assistance to fix their life away from management. In this case, the subtitles should read "The E-Myth Manger: Why your life sucks as a manager - and what to do about it" and "The E-Myth Contractor: Why most contractors' marriages don't work and what to do about it."

Seriously, these books are that bad.
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VINE VOICEon March 17, 2003
I have used the principles of this book along with several other books by Mr.Gerber to perfect my financial brokerage company. Mr.Gerber has written a phenomenal series of books that show you a better way of thinking about your business. I use this book to train my managers and employees so that they can have a better context of my business.
This book is one of the bible's of the entrepreneurial world, I believe that any entrepreneur that doesn't have this book is making their business harder than it should be.
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on February 9, 2001
First of all, the E stands for Entrepreneur, not anything to do with E-commerce. I bought this book and the "E-Myth Revisited" to better understand my husband and his approach to business. He took the "E-Myth Manager" on a business trip, and immediately ordered a copy for each of his managers. The tools and concepts in this book will be the topic for his next management retreat. What did I get out of the book? A much better understanding of how to work and live with an Entrepreneur.
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on October 31, 2005
If you are looking for the original emyth book that is LOADED with earth shattering ideas about how small business owners should look at their business - this is NOT it.

A very dissappointing philosophical book that meanders around with little inspiring points.

The emyth original is at the top of the must read books for business owners and this one might be near the bottom. Not to say that there are not some bright spots, but they are few.
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on April 25, 2005
I would have given this book 4 stars for the idea of allowing each manager to work towards his or her own personal aim in life, whilst helping to achieve the aims of the organization as a secondary concern.

However, as most people have already identified, the way the material is presented is quite sloppy: mostly casual and anecdotal in an effort to make the material more digestible. It simply doesn't work.

What makes the book especially infuriating is that the ideas seem to be really useful but are rehashed needlessly. He belabors each point repetitively. It was really difficult to tease out the essence of the various concepts. Also irritating is his almost biblical pronouncements as to how his approach will save the souls of the poor unfortunate employees who otherwise have no purpose in life.

Saying that, I did find the ideas useful enough to develop a short course for managers and CEO's. I managed to condense his entire book to approximately 140 paragraphs.

One of the most useful ideas is that if someone is working on his or her personal aspirations then he or she is far more likely to be motivated to succeed. The implications are that you only employ people who can personally benefit from working for your organization, meaning that the recruitment process becomes quite different.

It also changes the focus of the business to delivering a consistent and reliable *experience* for the customer in a way that also serves the personal aims of the individuals in the organization. The details of how this is done is somewhat vague; and there is little discussion of the typical issues that may arise when trying to implement this approach in practice. After 15,000 clients, the author should have a pretty good notion of the sticking points; but this isn't clear in the book.

Another important idea is to think of the business as a system requiring certain tasks to be completed; then assigning the tasks to the appropriate people - not looking for jobs for people to do.

In his other book, The E-Myth Revisited, he talks about the idea that a successful business is a stand-alone ('turnkey') system. In reality, it isn't as easy as that. And in this regard, I think the book is a little superficial.

Nonetheless, these books are thought-provoking, providing a new and relatively straight-forward approach to running a successful business.

I would have preferred a format where the broad ideas are sketched out in the first 1-2 chapters (succinctly!), followed by discussions about typical issues that you are likely to encounter when implementing these ideas for your own business. That might have given the book a 5* rating.
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on June 3, 2014
As it happens, I read this book because of the recommendation of my supervisor, although I ended up picking a different book in the series than he had originally recommended (though he did want to switch, so this may not be the last book of this series that I review). Also, while I had the book on my desk (as I customarily read in my lunch and break time, which makes me seem at least a little bit antisocial to some of my coworkers, I would imagine), the president of the company I work for commented on what a great book I was reading. As I had not been familiar with the author or the idea of an e-myth manager (or anything else), I found this reply gratifying but a bit unusual.

In truth, this is a very excellent book, with a revolutionary (and entirely laudable) primary goal, but also with an unfortunate liability. The liability this book suffers from is its name. What is an e-myth manager? How does viewing one’s domain, whether as small as an individual’s work process, or as larger as a massive division of a corporation, or even an entire company itself, as an entrepreneurial unit make someone with this view an e-myth manager? It is far simpler to explain what this book discusses as its guiding philosophy than it is to attempt to explain or justify its mystifying title. Fortunately, the contents of the book are far easier to understand than its title.

At its core, this book is one of those management books that is written as an imaginary dialogue in order to demonstrate a particular philosophical approach (which goes back to Plato, at least). The first part of the book examines the death and dying of American management by looking at the myth of management (that people can be managed, because they can’t), the motivation of the manager (like most people in general, according to this book, managers are motivated by some combination of fear and greed, although this book does greatly value motivations like truth and a child-like inquisitiveness), and then seeks the reinvention of the task of manager by breaking it down into component parts, looking at the roles of the emperor (the lord of his domain), the manager (who seeks to implement the will of others), and the technician (whose skill at technical matters is often a source of personal and professional pride). This first section of the book ends in seeking to reconcile the vision of these positions, by allowing the person to focus both on the need to have an independent vision that one is responsible for and choose whether the institutions and organizations that one is a part of allow for that genuine and personal vision to be achieved.

This particular view of personal responsibility informs the rest of the book, as the author uses a fictional mid-level manager named “Jack” who starts out as a frustrated and frazzled manager and who ends up invigorated and full of passion and intention to demonstrate the need of managers to examine their primary aim (or purpose), their strategic objective, their financial strategy, their organizational strategy, their management strategy, their people strategy, and their marketing strategy. As might be imagined, this is largely a book about strategy that works with very straightforward principles of taking responsibility for one’s domain, in seeking to inquire into the truth and reality of one’s situation, show an openness and inquisitiveness into others and their relationships, a commitment to integrity and sometimes painful self-examination, in seeking to build systems of best practices to depersonalize knowledge and allow it to spread to others, and recognizing that while people cannot be managed and effectively controlled, by setting a good example and encouraging others to take responsibility for themselves, one can motivate others to success.

Although this particular book is designed for managers, those who exist roughly in the middle of corporate hierarchies between the executives that inform and create a company’s culture and the front-level employees who carry out the work of a company, this particular book is of value to anyone who is ready to take responsibility for the course of their lives while simultaneously appreciating those who happen to be in their lives and valuing open and honest communication (over and over again this book speaks of the necessity to be committed to truth and honesty, a point that merits repetition). In short, this particular book can be viewed as an example of thoughtful and well-spoken self-help for managers, and an antidote to works of alchemical psychology that seek to coerce others into doing one’s will. In its overall approach, this book exhibits broad sympathies and similarities with the realistic but humane works of management like those by Vroom or Maslow or MacGregor that represent the best and most practical advice for leaders and managers, even if that advice is often difficult to follow because of our own fears and insecurities about those whom we lead and interact with.
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on September 3, 1999
What a dissapointing offering from the creator of such a brilliant previous work.
INC magazine panned the book, and I can see why. Gerber shows a disdainful lack of understanding of management practices and principles.
(This book has nothing to do with e-business by the way. The title is terrible.)
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on January 7, 2014
This is an awesome book. It really helped me to understand my OWN vision and focus. I have managed for several years and yes, have always looked at the owners goals etc. I need to work on my own personal strengths and build my own self up to be the best I can be ! I loved the book because it was just a freshing new way to understand management. It opened my eyes.
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