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Publisher's Summary

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.

Balance the yang of Throwing the Elephant with its yin, What Would Machiavelli Do?.
©2002 Stanley Bing (P)2002 HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"In a spoof of just about every career advice and management-by-metaphor book ever created, Bing 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." (Publishers Weekly)
"A clever book on how to manage elephants, a.k.a. bosses....Witty and thought-provoking...imaginative and unique." (Library Journal)
"This is essential reading for anyone who hates his or her boss and the corporate structure in general." (Booklist)

What listeners say about Throwing the Elephant

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jerry
  • Jerry
  • 02-04-2004

In response to David from Lafayette

Could David possibly be an elephant? This book is not about climbing any ladders, it's about being effective and happy where you are on the ladder. I found the approach and the content helpful and would recommend it to anyone looking to make sense of the Dibertesque corporate cultures that control most of our waking hours.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Straight Up Thoughts
  • 04-06-2015

An interesting take on an old topic

Not a ton of new ideas here, but a refreshing way to deliver age old wisdom on how you should be handling the relationship with your boss. I laughed out loud a couple times on the delivery.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shawn
  • 20-09-2006

excellent and fun

This is a great book for a review and fun to listen too. It tells you some words of wisdom in a humorous and stylistic manner that makes you picture some of the mistakes you've made in the past and how to share them with the people you lead. I would recommend this to others who enjoy laughing and visualizing situations. Also to people who are coaching future leaders. Can it help you with your own situations in working with yoiur own leader...yes it can.

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  • Jenny L.
  • 21-11-2020

Disappointingly sexist

This book gives you tips on how to appease boys with bad behavior riding on their high horses. I learned nothing about zen or Buddha. Instead I was extremely disappointed by the sexism of so many of their examples — if he goes to a strip club do this, if he if cheats do this, if he drinks too much do this. How are any of these behaviors acceptable for leaders so much so that others have to baby them? No. Don’t waste your money.

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  • Billy Edwards
  • 14-09-2019

Terrible

This book seemed to have just been thrown together, it seems to almost go in circles. One minute I'm the elephant the next minute I'm the Buddha

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  • K. Rosman
  • 02-11-2017

A bit out of date

Entertaining but not very useful. There are a couple tidbits but find a summary and skip the whole book.

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  • Carole
  • 12-06-2015

I was not expecting this book to be hilarious

What made the experience of listening to Throwing the Elephant the most enjoyable?

The accent of the narrator makes this book so much more clever because it conjures images of watching a Nature channel with wise hints of Obi Wan. Brilliant.

What other book might you compare Throwing the Elephant to and why?

Having read/listened to stacks of business books, I was anticipating a business book to give me tips on getting ahead or whatever, and instead I'm getting zen lessons in throwing an elephant. Nothing like it. This book is remarkably clever. Things that used to annoy me about the elephant now just make me smile.

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  • Masonic Prince
  • 05-01-2015

original

Updated Zen business philosophy. Original content. Great voice actor. I hate homework so instead of writing a twenty word review, I'll just press the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ symbolizing that time is money.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • M Paula Daoust
  • 15-06-2006

Fun

This was a fun book that made me laugh. Don't know that I agree with the author but it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek I think.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathleen Catasus
  • 14-12-2004

Loved it!

I have listend to this book several times (rented from the library) and liked it enough to buy it. I think the reader is humorous and the content is very good, if you listen to what he is saying. The Zen attitude for corporate culture was refreshing and helpful. I would recommend this book to anyone (working for an elephant) who wants to learn how to accept the Zen way of thinking and apply it in the business world and help yourself have a better attitude about life.

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