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The Boss Hardcover – April 30, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrew O Keeffe has been observing bosses for many years. He's worked for bosses, he's been a boss, and as a human resources executive, he has worked closely with a range of bosses in diverse companies. He has held senior positions with IBM, Cable & Wireless, SKM, and Hewitt Associates.

While writing The Boss, Andrew talked to many people, all of whom had their own boss story to tell. Some of those stories provided content for this book. There was plenty of material.

Andrew grew up in Broken Hill, Australia, studied economics and labor relations at the University of Sydney, and now lives in Sydney and consults in the human dimension of organisations.

In October 2008 Andrew joined the famous chimpanzee researcher Dr. Jane Goodall to present to business audiences in Australia and New Zealand on the leadership lessons of our instinctive hardwiring. Dr. Goodall spoke about the leadership lessons from her studies of chimpanzees, and Andrew spoke on the leadership lessons of our human hardwiring.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group; 2 edition (April 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929774893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929774890
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,471,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Boss is like a cross between a novel and a case study, or rather, a series of case studies. It describes the adventures of Lauren, a marketing professional, in the corporate world. And what a scary world it turns out to be, full of vicious animals, scheming devils and dysfunctional human behaviour.

I met Andrew O'Keeffe a few years ago at a workshop he ran exploring the idea that much of human behaviour is instinctive, the result of our evolution. The book is primarily a vehicle for the author to demonstrate how this hard-wired behaviour manifests itself in organisations in both positive and negative ways. However, you don't need to be familiar with the theory to enjoy it. It works well as a story, and anyone who works in an organisational environment will recognise the politics, the posturing and the Machiavellian mayhem that goes on within the company that Lauren works for. We also follow Lauren's family life and the effect that her experiences at work have on her relationships with her husband and children - a timely reminder that work impacts on every aspect of our lives.

The Boss is easy to read, entertaining and engrossing. It's not great literature and it's not particularly subtle, but it achieves its goals very effectively. There are goodies and baddies, tragedy and triumph, and there's humour amid the horror. If you manage people or aspire to a corporate leadership role, you should read it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an incredible book - a perfect one for a long airline flight. You feel like a fly on the wall watching the most infuriating injustices in the workplace. But because we've all had or have heard about dreadful bosses like those featured in this engrossing tale, we know it actually could have happened.

I've recommended it for my university masters students studying organizational politics. It demonstrates very realistically what actually goes on in most organizations. It is a book any office or professional worker will identify with, and is a salutory tale for anyone new to the workforce. Strongly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I serendipitously ran into Andrew during the Chicago stop on his book tour when I sat in one of his audience chairs to browse some computer books. We started talking and I became intrigued with the book and Andrew. I bought it and started reading it the next day. What a marvelous find.

It just covers all the bases of dealing with employees and bosses. I'm recommending it to my daughter and also to friend. If you supervise someone or work for someone, you should read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
When Lauren Johnson's boss "Deadly-Di" crosses' the line for the last time, Lauren starts her search for another job with a less poisonous boss. Once offered her dream job, Lauren couldn't be anymore excited to resign and leave "Deadly-Di" behind. Thrilled to be working for Meg Montgomery, who comes highly recommended, Lauren accepts the position and joins Harlow Kane. Unfortunately her first day is full of surprises. Meg resigns and Lauren is left on her own with five top executive bosses, who she feels she should have investigated further. As Lauren's story unfolds the true colors of each boss and their styles of management become apparent. Her survival depends on her ability to adapt and cope without loosing sight of who she is and what she stands for. Armed with Aesop's fables as her method of understanding others, Lauren takes charge and learns a little about herself in the process.

"The Boss" was the most realistic fiction novel! At time I had to remind myself it was fiction and not part of my own history with bosses I have had or dealt with. O'Keeffe does a wonderful job of exposing the horrible structures of corporate executives along with sharing compliments for the ones who are truly making a difference. The novel easily points out how destructive we can be to each other in the workplace if we are not careful. The main focus of the novel is on the bosses, managers, and those in leadership roles, however it also examines co-workers and the worker as an individual. It is full of humor, insight, education, drama, self-preservation, courage and triumph. It is a must read for anyone who has ever had a bad boss or co-worker.

I found myself engrossed in this novel. Specific moments or chapters hit home hard, as I felt for Lauren because I have been there also.
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Format: Hardcover
The Boss is a novel - and is also a novel way of learning about management and leadership. Author Andrew O'Keeffe has used his years of experience working with bosses and the stories he has been told about bosses, to pen this enlightening read. O'Keeffe has also used his vast knowledge of what makes people tick to ensure that there is a message in every chapter for anybody who wants to be a better boss or for someone who might need to manage their current boss better.

Told through the eyes of Lauren Johnson, the talented but perennial adherent to her bosses whims, it will keep you interested and involved to the final chapter. Early in the book we find Lauren finally deciding to move from her current job to get away from "Deadly Di", the boss from hell, only to end up in a worse situation. In her new organisation, not only is her new boss somewhat inept, but many of the other senior managers have many failings, quirks and even personality disorders which I am sure many readers will recognise in bosses they have known.

When will Lauren wake up and do something about her situation? This is a clever concept O'Keeffe has used. By keeping us in tune with Lauren, but also keeping us frustrated that she is not taking it upon herself to get out from under, it enables O'Keeffe to achieve two aims. Firstly it is an excellent way of getting the reader to think of ways that he or she might act in Lauren's situation, thus ensuring we learn about ourselves. Secondly, it enables the author to introduce all the various difficult boss types that need to be managed.

It might sound as if this book has quite a negative flavour. This is not so.
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