Business book bites: “The McKinsey Mind”

I mentioned earlier that I love audiobooks. I’ve decided to spend all of my listening time from now on on various business-related books, which is a huge change for me. I really prefer fiction, especially sci-fi, horror and YA (I was making my way through a ton of Stephen King before making this switch). Anyway, I thought I’d jot down some pseudo reviews and thoughts on what I’ve been listening to lately on this blog.

ImageThe McKinsey Mind, by Ethan Rasiel

This book is apparently a follow-up book to The McKinsey Way. The only reason I listened to this one instead of the original was because The McKinsey Mind was available on audible and The McKinsey Way wasn’t.

From the back cover:

Structured around interviews and frontline anecdotes from former McKinsey consultants ­­as well as the authors, themselves McKinsey alumni­­, The McKinsey Mind explores how McKinsey tools and techniques can be applied to virtually any business problem in any setting. Immensely valuable in today’s crisis-a-minute workplace, it discusses:

  • Techniques for framing problems and designing analyses
  • Methods for interpreting results and presenting solutions
  • Keys for managing teams, managing clients, and managing yourself

[…] Let The McKinsey Mind show you how to approach and solve problems with the skill of a McKinsey consultant and obtain the positive results that have been delivered to McKinsey clients for over a century.

Those are some big promises, huh? But honestly, this book was downright terrible. I couldn’t even finish listening to it; I got about 80% of the way through before giving up. Maybe I shouldn’t judge it because I never finished it. But I never stop listening to books mid-way; I’ve only done that with one other of the hundreds I’ve listened to (That book was Game of Thrones. I know so many people out there love it, but I just wasn’t happening for me.)

The McKinsey Mind is full of lame unhelpful platitudes like “Don’t boil the ocean.” It also offers gems like, “Give your clients advice tailored to their business.” Wow, really? You mean I shouldn’t treat a small business and and multi-million dollar international conglomerate the same way? Thanks for the tip.

The book completely lacks in applicable, practical methods or analyses, which is weird, because that’s exactly what the book promises to deliver. One reviewer on Amazon wrote, “If this were a book on picking stocks, the equivalent would be ‘buy low, sell high.'” I don’t think I can capture it any better than that!

SKIP IT. Maybe The McKinsey Way is better? I won’t be attempting it, though. Let me know if you do.


Coming up next: How to Win Friends and Influence People and The 2-Hour Job Search