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. . . Without Really Trying

The National Institute of Business Management, a New York publisher of business-oriented journals, has made us an offer we almost cannot refuse. If we subscribe to Executive Strategies, we will receive free of charge “The Black Book of Executive Politics” by someone identified only as “Z.”

A perusal of a summary of the contents of the Black Book quickly suggested why the author is not more extensively identified. Item No. 1, for example, is: “Why style, rather thanperformance, is the key factor in determing who makes it to the board room, and how to appraise yours realistically.” We were even more attracted to Item No. 5: “How to arrange an immediate 35% salary jump for yourself and leapfrog across the company’s formal salary structure.” The book, we are advised, also counsels on how to handle back-stabbing, how to bypass the boss, “How to recognize times when ‘overkill’ is the only sure way to defend yourself,” ways to distinguish between real and accidental sexual come-ons in the workplace, and, perhaps best of all, “How pros handle the media.”

We telephoned Warren S. Brown, who had sent us the letter of invitation, to ask more aboutthe magazine. He was away but an assistant said the magazine itself has about 25,000 subscribers these days, with practical business-oriented ideas that are “maybe not the same aggressive tactics of the Black Book.” We don’t know how many copies of the Black Book are in circulation.

We had also wanted to thank Brown for addressing us as “Dear Executive.” That had never happened before.

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