The last 20 years has seen one management fad after another come and go. At the behest of consultants and gurus, businesses have re-engineered, downsized, learnt excellence, developed competencies and created customer-focused strategies. But to what avail? Despite all these fads and improvements we still find bad management, unhappy customers and companies that are extolled as excellent one day and go bust the next. There is a huge gulf between the excellence industry that is touted by the gurus and the real world of business. “Hard-core Management” aims to bridge that gap. It exposes all the core assumptions made by managers and their gurus by stripping them of their fancy garb and forcing us to confront the stark, warts-and-all reality. More than 100 overdressed assumptions are presented for frank examination such as: we know our customers; we know our competition; we have a strategy; our leader knows the way; we have a vision; we are in control; and we can change.