Goldilocks on Management:

27 Revisionist Fairy Tales for Serious Managers, by Gloria Gilbert Mayer and Thomas Mayer (American Management Association, $21.95).

Synopsis:The characters from classic fairy tales–Cinderella, Snow White, and the rest–are dragooned into conveying business platitudes.

Representative quote: “‘Sir,’ Goldilocks says brightly, ‘we’re known throughout the industry for competitive prices and superior services. Let me give you an example of how we go the extra mile for our customers.'”

Noteworthy flaw: Bad managers never dream they might need to improve themselves.

Movies to Manage By: Lessons in Leadership from Great Films, by John K. Clemens and Melora Wolff (Contemporary Books, $22.95).

Synopsis: Popular movies from Hoosiers to Citizen Kane are examined with an eye toward gleaning managerial lessons.

Representative quote: “Watching Charlie Kane mishandle power is both troubling and embarrassing for the viewer: is he really in error when he pirates another newspaper’s best reporters for himself? Surely it’s the staff of the Chronicle that’s at fault here, so easily bought!”

Noteworthy flaw: Bad managers never dream they might need to improve themselves.

Smart Moves for People in Charge: 130 Checklists to Help You Be a Better Leader, by Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman (Addison-Wesley, $15).

Synopsis: Thousands of directives, arranged in numbered lists, to assist the manager concerned about effective leadership.

Representative quote: “11. Expand your creativity. Think like a child. Play with ideas and experiment with new behaviors. Ask questions no one has asked before. Believe there’s always a different and a better way….Do something for the sheer joy of it.”

Noteworthy flaw: Quotes Ralph Nader–“By the time you rise through the ranks, the culture of homogenization has bred the spirit and imagination out of you”–without realizing that the truth of this sentiment voids the hope of any practical value in books such as this.