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101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You in Business School: a Review

By January 19, 2016Article

As a leader of a startup, you can choose from a wealth of advisory books with insights into starting a company, hiring a winning team, responding to market signals to make the most of opportunities and failing fast. Some even present advice on balancing your work and home life. But where can you get advice about handling goals that suddenly don’t look achievable? Or advice about things you should be paranoid about? And what about spotting sharks, being unemotional in business and how to tell if someone is lying to you? You’ll find this and much more in “101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You in Business School,” by Chris Haroun. 

101 Crucial Lessons coverA crucial lesson that I found surprising is Lesson #25, about whether or not to disclose risks to clients or potential clients. Haroun discusses how important it is to always be 100 percent transparent in business as transparency builds trust. He advises telling investors and customers – within five minutes of the first meeting – the risks of investing in products or services.

Lesson #53 also drew my attention; it discusses the truth about unjustified criticism. 

Section 12 has four crucial lessons about only taking advice from successful people. The book incorporates advice based on thinking and do-or-die actions of renowned leaders such as Marc Benioff, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and even a newcomer to this distinguished circle – Splunk’s CEO.  

Chris HarounHaroun also belongs in this circle of successful people. In addition to his own startups, his business experience includes stints at Accenture, Goldman Sachs, HCM and hedge fund Citadel. He’s a partner at Silicon Valley’s ARTIS Ventures and is known for identifying promising disruptive tech companies. He’s a frequent guest lecturer at Berkeley, Stanford and McGill and teaches online business courses at 

He also spins business advice from a different perspective than renowned successes – learning what not to do by observing managers’ shortfalls. 

If you’re an entrepreneur who hasn’t yet launched a company, Haroun also shares lessons for you. Among the 101 Crucial Lessons, you’ll find tips on everything from getting a job, getting a raise or promotion, navigating corporate politics and culture, when not to take a shortcut, networking, how to destroy your career in 30 seconds and much more. Forbes cited this 2015 book “one of six books that all entrepreneurs must read right now.” 

In Lesson 12, Haroun advises that you are your biggest investment and it’s a mistake to be cheap when it comes to education and self-improvement. The book is an easy read, with one lesson per page. In fact, you can read it in an evening. But by reading quickly, you’ll miss the benefits of investing in yourself by spending time to understand specifically how to apply the lessons to your life.  











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