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Beyond Harvard: Biz maverick’s guidelines to be street smart- Review

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Mark H. McCormack change the sports marketing and also the sports as never before. International Management Group was the company he founded, groomed and developed into a gigantic scale. How did he do that? His philosophy can be described in one sentence: People like to do business with people whom they like. Mark H. MacCormack’s whole life is all about exploring almost all the dimensions of this sentence.

He took interests in almost everything that was close to the heart of his clients, most of them were all from sports—men and women. He was all for the competition and hate the defeat. His sole aim of life was International Management Group, the company he founded should be at the top in the sports marketing. Nothing less and nothing more. All the profits he made would be ploughed back into the IMG. Most of the time the first shake-hand with a prospective client would turned into a lifelong relationship, business as well as soulmates.

Mark H. McCormack changed every sports—Tennis, Football, Golf, Cricket, etc. Every sportsman and sportswomen has a business value and one who understands it can change the marketing of that sports and hence the sports itself. This was the lesson that Mark H. McCormack discovered and build the most successful business around it. His book—What They Don’t Teach You at Harward School, was his first book that sold over a million copies. The book contains the nuggets of wisdom—street smartness, illustrated by anecdotes, offering practical insight into how to get ahead in business and life.


Mark H. MacCormack known as MHM would frequently scrutinise the company expenditure. After one such inspection, he sent a memo addressed to worldwide employees, which simply said: “From this point forward the company will no longer pay for overnight shipping of letters and packages. Of course, if there is a very unusual circumstance where overnight delivery is essential please write to my assistant and she will approve each request on a case by case basis.” This two-sentence memo saved MGM over $250,000, an almost 80 per cent reduction in overnight shipping from the year before the memo was sent. He had told his assistant to approve any request that came her way. However, the fact that someone had to call her first meant that the executive team quickly corrected their bad habits and only sent things overnight that were critical to business. Todd McCormack has narrated this anecdote under the title—Breaking bad habits.

Beyond Harvard, is the book in which all the street smarts, influenced by him—colleagues, clients and competitors alike, together representing an exceptional array of talent from worlds of business, media and sport. Mostly they are the anecdotes of Mark H. McCormack illustrating key business fundas —Managing People, Building Relationships, Best negotiating tips and how to grow a business. With advice from Billie Jean King, Sir Martin sorrel, Jim Kim, Christie Henfner, Bertrand Gros, Lord Sebastian Coe, Monica Seles, and many more. The best thing of this book is that, it sticks to street-smartness, the fundamental characteristic of Mark H. McCormack to seriously explore his world and the world of business to make our world a better place for living. Everyone has scribbled a small anecdote and all of them have been classified into three parts: People and Relationships, Negotiation and Growing Business.

Beyond Harvard is the book about management but each and every lesson is full of life. All the anecdotes are precise and there is no repetition. They are not about listing all the virtues of successful businessman but they narrate a story with at least one takeaway for the reader. The reader could be an aspiring businessman, a politician or a thought leader. The book is like a digest, you can open any page and read an anecdote and close it. There are lots of takeaways for the street smarts. And India needs several of such street smart leaders and entrepreneurs, hence the book is a must read for all of them.

Beyond Harvard

Edited by: Jo Russell

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd.

Pages: 256; Price: Rs 399