Forget all the expensive MBA handbooks, bin your application forms to INSEAD, Harvard and LBS, and read this cult guide instead.
From the Introduction:
The desire to get ahead in business is stimulated at an early age. Remember that intoxicating moment when you first managed to get Mayfair and Park Lane, built hotels on each, and sent your opponent headlong into bankruptcy when he landed on one after the other? Remember the thrill when you bartered a rusty Swiss penknife for your friend's father's Rolex? It's a fact that the very best childhood memories tend to be materialistic, competitive and exploitative - in short, capitalist.
Recapturing those thrills is more elusive in the real game of business. It's a tough world out there, the rules are strictly enforced, and the competition's a little sharper than when you skittled Granny out of the game with some shrewd double-sixes. If you want to be a high-flier in today's business world, you've got to have a good grasp of the fundamentals - like how to talk and how to look - and at least have a nodding acquaintance with peripheral matters like finance and marketing. Otherwise, in no time at all, you'll find yourself surrounded by colleagues babbling in tongues you don't understand and leapfrogging you on their way to the top.
This book is aimed at executives who have neither the time nor the inclination to read orthodox - that is, expensive and leadenly theoretical - business books. It sorts the nuggets from the sludge and discards the stuff you don't need to know.
Quite a lot has been discarded. Just as it takes 250 tons of ore to produce one carat of diamond, so we have reduced the study of business to its essence.