Magazine article Management Today

Brainfood: Professor Henry Mintzberg - If I Had to Start Again

Magazine article Management Today

Brainfood: Professor Henry Mintzberg - If I Had to Start Again

Article excerpt

I could have been a journalist - I wrote a sports column in my college newspaper. Indeed, some people would say that I've become a journalist - I know I have academic colleagues who think I write things (like my book Why I Hate Flying) that I have no right to because I am not an expert on the subject. But what has made me successful is saying what I believe rather than toeing any party line. But I shouldn't have been an academic.

If I'd said to my classmates in high school that I'd end up being quite good at it, we'd all have laughed. I was not a great student academically and if they had been screening properly I'd never have got into Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

I believe in common sense. You could say I've built a reputation by saying that managers get interrupted a lot and their jobs are very oral - things that are obvious to anyone who's ever been in an office. But it's easy for people to lose their common sense. My hero is Hans Christian Andersen's little boy who points out that the Emperor has no clothes. …

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