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Beyond Bullsh*t

Straight-talk at work! Grumblings in offices everywhere suggest that there is not much that we crave more, but don’t get often enough. Beyond Bullsh*t reveals the dynamics of bullsh*t and why it has become the corporate etiquette of choice. It also explains how telling it straight contributes to personal well-being and business success.

This book is for people who wonder what it’s going to take to get rid of the constant deception and obfuscation that, at the end of the work day, leaves them feeling beaten up, confused, and even a little dirty. It is also for the people greeting them at home, wondering, “What’s going on that takes such a toll?” Pressed for an answer, many explain “it’s all the bullsh*t I have to endure.” Even people who disdain deception find themselves involved in it. They feel compelled to tell bullsh*t at work.
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SAMUEL A. CULBERT has developed a blunt yet sensitive way of framing situations so that all forces driving people's opinions and actions, including the subjective, self-interested, and political, can be matter-of-factly considered and explicitly discussed. Throughout his career he has creatively welded three activities: consulting, teaching, and writing. Consulting is where he encounters work effectiveness problems in their contemporary forms, learns how they are being dealt with, and finds challenge in coming up with new ways of engaging them. Teaching provides forums for extrapolating from problems to issues and, through give-and-take interaction, for probing underlying dynamics to identify which assumptions and resulting practices need upgrading. Writing is where he brings it all together to package his understanding for public consumption.
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  • Samuel A. Culbert is Professor of Management at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

  • His other books include
    Don't Kill The Bosses! (2001), Mind-Set Management: The Heart of Leadership (1994), Radical Management: Power, Politics, and the Pursuit of Trust (1985), The Invisible War: Pursuing Self-Interests At Work (1980), and The Invisible War (1974).

  • He is the recipient of the American Association of Publishers Best Management Book of the Year award and the Harvard Business Review McKinsey Award.

Don’t Kill the Bosses! reveals the "trap" created when people fail to differentiate between the positives of hierarchical structure and the negatives of hierarchical relationships.

Why not get it all when, at the end of the day, hierarchical position assures bosses the authority to play ultimate decider? It's only when hierarchy is extended from structure to a relationship that subordinates have reason to fear give-and-take discussion and providing viewpoints with which the boss disagrees for the negative consequences their candor might provoke. Such conundrums arise in insolvable forms in one-sided, boss-dominated relationships.


In The News

NPR's Marketplace Morning Report
"Author Calls for Less 'BS' in the office"
View the Text
or Download the MP3

Sam Culbert in Newsweek
A Cure for Common B.S.


"Great, enduring brands demand (and respond to) straight talk from their customers, employees and stakeholders. Sam Culbert's book brings that message to life."
—Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks

“Beyond Bullsh*t shows why the little moments in organizational life matter so much and how to make the most out of them. Culbert has written the wisest book that I’ve ever read about what it takes to build a humane and effective workplace. and, this little masterpiece is a joy to read because every page oozes with Culbert’s own experience, straight talk, and charm.”
—Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University

“Beyond Bullsh*t is a wonderful book!
Clever and clear, it’s a tour de force on
how to circumvent bullsh*t and when
to talk straight at work.”
—Walter Nord, Distinguished University Professor, U. of South Florida

“Culbert nailed it. This book is a masterpiece and every word is so true. This is what he’s been writing about and teaching his whole career. And, that’s not bullsh*t. He’s always stood for direct, valid, and candid human relationships. Those who took his straight-talk to heart flourished as a result. As Bennis says, in his foreword, it is indeed his ‘master stroke.’”
—Beverly Kaye, CEO/Founder, Career Systems International and Co-Author of Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay

"I read this book by randomly sampling pages. Every sample was a treasure! This is a wise and wonderful book!"
Tom Peters, Chairman Tom Peters Company

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