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It's OK to Be the Boss: The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need Hardcover


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It's OK to Be the Boss: The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need + Its Okay to Manage Your Boss: The Step-by-Step Program for Making the Best of Your Most Important Relationship at Work
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pfeiffer; 1 edition (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061121363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061121364
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Tulgan, author and expert on Generation X workers (born between 1965 and 1977), considers what he calls the epidemic of "undermanagement" in corporate America--or, the failure of managers to take daily charge of the work environment and tell employees what to do and how to do it. He identifies seven big management myths, including there not being enough time to manage people; that to be fair, everyone should be treated the same; and the desire of managers to be "nice guys." Today's change in corporate culture from long-term employees working their way up the ranks to short-term workers in flattened organizations reporting to project managers who "empower" them leads to failure, because employees are not really free and managers are not trained. The author decries managers' lack of guidance, direction, feedback, and employee support, and he responds in this book with hands-on management advice that he clearly differentiates from micromanagement. The author tells us, "Taking the first step toward effective managing takes discipline and guts." An excellent book. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Hands on management advice . . . an excellent book. (Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management, The Wharton School)

“If you want to be successful, I strongly recommend you do it the ‘Tulgan way.’” (General Dennis J. Reimer (Ret.), Chief of Staff, United States Army (1995-1999))

“Bruce Tulgan makes it safe again to be a hands-on manager.” (Mike Archer, President of Applebee's Services, Inc.)

“Hands-on management advice . . . excellent.” (Booklist)

“Small business owners . . . will find [Tulgan’s] advice valuable.” (BusinessWeek SmallBiz)

More About the Author

Bruce Tulgan (New Haven, CT) is the author or coauthor of numerous books including, NOT EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY (2009), the best-seller IT'S OKAY TO BE THE BOSS (2007), and the classic MANAGING GENERATION X (1995). Since founding the management training firm RainmakerThinking, Inc. in 1993, he has been a sought-after keynote speaker and seminar leader. Tulgan's weekly video newsletter is available for free at www.rainmakerthinking.com.

Customer Reviews

Some good books aren't that way, but still contain great insight.
Adam Temple
Tulgan's message resonates in an intuitive way - "Yes! It is okay for me to be the boss!" and "Indeed, it will be hard work, but it will be worthwhile."
J. Forthofer
I received the book the day it was released and could not put it down.
A former Brooklynite

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bob Pritchett on April 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was attracted by the very direct title, and the book delivered. It is specific, detailed, and honest. I particularly appreciated Tulgan's warning that becoming a better manager is like starting a fitness program. I'd rather it wasn't hard, time consuming, and something that requires daily discipline, but I like that he's up front about it. And that his book has so many specific things to do, answers to objections, and reasons it's worth it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By scifiguy57 on January 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In my many years in the workforce, I've seen just about every half-baked management fad that's come down the pike. Most of them leave the manager confused and the "managee" feeling patronized or worse. Almost all get dumped sooner rather than later.

Thanks to this book I can finally put my finger on what's wrong with these fads - they are simply elaborate excuses to avoid the actual hard work of management by wallowing in pop psychologoy or meaningless "metrics". There is no getting away from the fact that the manager's job is to set very definite expectations for his/her direct reports, communicate them clearly, track them diligently, and reward or discipline the worker accordingly. Tulgan makes it clear that good management takes effort but the rewards are great - a better and more honest relationship with your direct reports, better morale and better productivity.

Read this book if you have anyone reporting to you. And if not, buy it for your boss!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"It was a very different style (edgy and honest) that set itself apart from all of the other business books I've read over the years. There were many good points to validate what we see on a daily basis, plus 3 to 4 good takeaways that I could apply immediately."
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43 of 59 people found the following review helpful By J. Schreier on April 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bruce Tulgan's "It's OK to Be the Boss" is one of the toughest books I've ever read/reviewed. His premise, like most of his previous work, is dead on accurate. When I saw somebody willing to say there's a crisis of "undermanagement," I was thrilled. So I'd give the book a five on promise - and some of that is fulfilled. But unfortunately, the execution is a -4 so the rating ends up as only one star. I think he could have made most of his good points without the pieces that ultimately will only confuse managers - and in many cases give them excuses for not doing the very things Tulgan's arguing must be done.

It starts early with Tulgan's criticism of the work from Blanchard, Buckingham, and even a backhand compliment of Adler's hiring formula. What's particularly misleading, no matter how much Tulgan might deny it, is that it is obvious he has never read the works he criticizing. Blanchard has been making it very clear for decades that the "One Minute Manager" takes more than a minute; Buckingham makes it even clearer that the steps in "First, Break All the Rules" are not just empowerment and require the very detailed regular attention to the very detail that Tulgan calls for. Buckingham's most recent works on a "strengths-based" approach is backed by solid research - not just anecdotal evidence Tulgan cites. He even misinterprets the classic Theory X - Theory Y, not knowing that McGregor clearly stated that a Theory Y Manager recognized the existence of Theory X assumptions about some employees (in 1960 estimated at 35% of the workforce).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Kurber on March 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've both read a number of his books (great hand-on advice) as well as having had an opportunity to see Tulgan speak a couple of times. I'm a believer and this new book is an excellent synthesis of the best ideas he's presented and written over the past few years. I've been employed in a couple of extremely demanding and highly service oriented sectors (financial services and real estate) and it's clear who's being managed effectively (the few) and those who are absolutely not. Tulgan nails it - the cost is staggering. He provides an effective approach to cutting-edge management in an understandable and concise, easy to read and easy to follow approach.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tim L. Goodheart on March 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you're like me, someone needing to get better at management but with little formal training, this book is definately for you. It really separates myths from reality and let's us know that what most of us think is "common business knowledge" quite often turns out to either flawed or just plain incorrect. I also like that Bruce is very upfront. He's tells the reader straight away that managing is not simple, not easy and improving at it won't happen overnight but that with effort and hard work we can improve.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Forthofer on August 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A short time ago, I worked for a small-sized company with somewhat oversized ambitions, but I could never pinpoint why I felt the business's ambitions were out of synch with its practices. I happened to pick up Bruce Tulgan's book, It's Okay to Be the Boss, and after just the first few pages, I knew under-management was the culprit I couldn't name. Tulgan has aptly christened an unfortunate corporate ailment. His book is a meaningful attempt to "lift the lid" and expose the sorry state of today's management, while providing the necessary course corrections. He emphasizes daily interaction; establishing methods for accountability; and clarity, clarity, clarity.

The book has several strengths:
1. Instinctual, but not impulsive. Tulgan's message resonates in an intuitive way - "Yes! It is okay for me to be the boss!" and "Indeed, it will be hard work, but it will be worthwhile." His message cuts through the daily noise and excuses to plainly remind managers of their primary, even sacred duty: get people to work at their best (very hard, very fast) all day long. Yet his book does not "rush in" - he is pragmatic and reasonable. Tulgan does not hype absurd or pointless tricks. He is not about cutting corners.
2. Immediately actionable. Do not be surprised if you feel the urge to implement these techniques as soon as possible - in fact, it is likely that you'll be tempted to put the book down half-way through and announce "Great news, I'm the boss! And I'm going to do my best to be a great one!" His strategies are simple and straightforward. You can begin managing with these techniques immediately (like holding your first 15 minute standing meeting) - there is no need to meditate heavily or layout a long-range vision.
3. Realistic. Tulgan does not pad the landing.
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