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I studied business in college (nearly 20 years ago) and have been in technical roles my entire career. An opportunity to meet with the president of a small business about a CTO role fell into my lap through a mutual acquaintance and we're having dinner later this week. I need to - quickly - brush up on core business topics and have been looking at "MBA in a box" books. There's a bunch of them on Amazon on The Portable MBA is the one I'm most interested in based on reviews. Has anyone read it, or have recommendations for another similar book? Thanks!

williamelledgepe's picture

I use to have that book and got rid of it because it was so superficial.  I could not finish it (maybe it gets better, but I chose to not find out).  I suppose superficiality is what you should expect from a three year education crammed into 200 or so pages.  I found it devoid of sufficient details to learn/do anything.  

That said - in your situation it may be helpful.  With a high level read of typical MBA topics, it might jog your memory of what you learned all those years back.  (You would be better off reminding yourself about the accomplishments in your career that came about because of that education).  You could also listen to Mark's podcast on Results and Retention. 

If you want a book: HBR had a series that I liked - each topic was a separate book though.  Plus I don't see that series on Amazon anymore.  It seems to have been replaced by either "20-Minute Manager" (not an inspiring title, though hopefully the content is good) or "HBR Guide to ..."

To be honest - though - I would go a different route.  Rather than reading, I would ocus on reminding yourself what accomplishments you've had in the last few years to make yourself worthy of CTO position.  

jclishe's picture

Thanks William!

I'm in a good spot with updated accomplishments and results and am prepared to tell a good story around why I'm an excellent fit for the role.

That said, I don't know where the conversation will go and am just looking for something extra to blow the cobwebs off some business topics that I haven't had to call on many years.

Thanks for the comments about the book, I appreciate it.