Months without a Dilbert book, but suddenly it is two in two days for me. After wrapping up “Thriving on Vague Objectives”, I managed to secure the second Dilbert book from my library “Don’t Step in the Leadership”. The Book
The book is a loose collection of toon strips dealing with the touchy subject of Leadership. We get pearls of wisdom from the great management leaders of our time, Dogbert, Pointy Haired Boss and Catbert. But the more interesting aspect of the book is that there are times when our engineers union of Dilbert, Alice and Wally also show inspired leadership qualities.
The book also takes a deeper look into such management strategies as “The Chaos theory of Management” and “Management by inspiration speeches”. Going a level deeper the book also delves on the key skills of delegation to clueless and setting measurable goals which cannot be measured.
The book is a key for any person who looks at Management as a game to fool all the stakeholders and rake in all the money that is out there. Like any true Management book out there, the book also looks at adverse conditions for a manager like a good job market outside, when the manager has to indulge the engineers and take some insults without feeling bad about it. Critic’s Viewpoint
Don’t Step in the Leadership is another winner from Scott Adams. The book is another bible on whatever is going on with today’s managements and how there is a race between management and employees to push the other to the corner when a chance occurs. When the job market is bad, Catbert and Pointy Haired Boss ensure to really put the employees to as much misery as possible, but as soon as the job market improves, Dilbert and gang get their own back.
The book has some really interesting definitions in it for e.g. in the introduction Leadership is defined as the art of convincing people to do things that are either too dangerous (like invading another country) or stupid (working extra hard without extra pay).
Similarly, Dogbert defines Consulting as the art of “Conning” and “Insulting” gullible people.
The book also has some interesting ideas to increase productivity in the office for e.g. the introduction of self heating chairs which heat up 10 degrees for every minute the occupant talks. So if you ramble for 40 minutes, you go up in flames to the delight of the other poor sufferers.
The usual humor and punch lines expected from a Scott Adams book are very much there in this book. All the favorite characters such as Pointy Haired Boss, Catbert, Dilbert, Dogbert, Alice, Wally and Asok are the key characters. The strips involving Ratbert were a bit of letdown as some of them were downright boring such as the one where in Ratbert develops psychic skills. Summary
Out of the 125 odd pages the book has around 100 of them are amusing, the remainder a bit repetitive from previous Dilbert books.
But for the sheer joy that these books give, I tend to give them a high rating. I would give this book another 4 star rating. About Scott Adams
Scott Adams has done an MBA from UC Berkley. He started using Dilbert strips during presentations and found them to be a success. He then went on to syndicate the Dilbert strips in 1989. Today, Dilbert is syndicated in around 1400 publications world-wide making it one of the most syndicated strips of all time.
He decided to organize his strips into a book and came up with his first book The Dilbert Principle which was a bestseller in both US and UK. Dogbert's Management Handbook is his second book.
Dilbert strips are also a big merchandising success with Dilbert merchadise being one of the most sought after by the poor stressed out employees of today. (Taken from my article published earlier at: