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Know It All's Listening Consultants

My manager is an avid reader of books and articles by one popular management guru, and he keeps sending us almost everything this guy writes. I think the guru's work is simple and useless, and I cannot read another word of it. My manager keeps asking us about it, and I fear telling him the truth. Do I just go along with this, or is there something I can do?

Although your manager is buying whatever this guru is saying or selling, you do not have to be an equally eager customer. However, if you attack this guru's work and exclaim that it is simple and useless, your manager may conclude that you are simply useless. After all, this guru is very important to your manager, and an attack on the guru may be perceived as an attack on your manager himself. A more productive approach is for you to thank your manager for the suggested readings, and then send him some articles or books by management writers that you find to be truly excellent. After all, it sounds like your manager is eager to learn more about management, and is also interested in having his employees do likewise. If he is truly interested in learning, he should be receptive to the work of other experts besides his favorite guru. If he rejects the materials you send, the odds are that his guru, like most management gurus, has some advice about being open-minded, embracing change, and listening to others. Try using the words of his guru to open his eyes and mind to the rest of the world of management.

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