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It's Okay to Be the Boss [Kindle Edition]

Bruce Tulgan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $23.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Do you feel you don't have enough time to manage your people?

Do you avoid interacting with some employees because you hate the dreaded confrontations that often follow?

Do you have some great employees you really cannot afford to lose?

Do you secretly wish you could be more in control but don't know where to start?

Managing people is harder and more high-pressure today than ever before. There's no room for downtime, waste, or inefficiency. You have to do more with less. And employees have become high maintenance. Not only are they more likely to disagree openly and push back, but they also won't work hard for vague promises of long-term rewards. They look to you—their immediate boss—to help them get what they need and want at work.

How do you tackle this huge management challenge? If you are like most managers, you take a hands-off approach. You "empower" employees by leaving them alone, unless they really need you. After all, you don't want to "micromanage" them and don't have the time to hold every employee's hand. Of course, problems always come up and often snowball into bigger problems. In fact, you probably spend too much of your time solving problems and falling behind on your work . . . which leaves even less time for managing people . . . which opens the door for even more problems!

In It's Okay to Be the Boss, Bruce Tulgan puts his finger on the biggest problem in corporate America—an undermanagement epidemic affecting managers at all levels of the organization and in all industries—and offers another way. His clear, step-by-step guide to becoming the strong manager employees need challenges bosses everywhere to spell out expectations, tell employees exactly what to do and how to do it, monitor and measure performance constantly, and correct failure quickly and reward success even more quickly. Now that's how you set employees up for success and help them earn what they need. Tulgan opens our eyes to the undisciplined workplace that is overwhelming managers and frustrating workers and invites bosses everywhere to accept the sacred responsibility of managing people. His message: It's okay to be the boss. Be a great one!

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


Hands on management advice . . . an excellent book.

Product Details

  • File Size: 317 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061121363
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; 1st edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OI0F3K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,157 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical book for managers April 15, 2007
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the antidote to "management by fad" January 27, 2008
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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44 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate Statements Overwhelm Some Good Points 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to the point to Manage better. April 4, 2007
"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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and helpful - I'm a believer! March 28, 2007
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Help is on the way. March 16, 2007
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Management requires gumption! August 19, 2007
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on how to manage the best and the rest.
It can be surprisingly hard to manage highly effective contributors. This book helps clarify that those who are already high-achievers need management too. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jai A. Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a great book and a must read for all new managers. As the title says, it is ok to be the boss.
Published 12 months ago by Richard Etheridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Reference
I like the book offers a a different view. I like this book and I would recommend this book to others.
Published 17 months ago by MissCherie
3.0 out of 5 stars Promotional Material
Was used for Lt. promotional material. Very simple and quick read. I can't say I agree with the author on
his philosophy of being the boss. Read more
Published 20 months ago by T. Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, and very important info to know
I read this book and I see that if people would apply the principles of this book, they would be a lot less frustrated and way more productive in their workplace and in their daily... Read more
Published 21 months ago by ben
3.0 out of 5 stars Way too long, better for retail than white collar
I read this book as part of a management training program where I work. On the first day of the meeting no one could figure out why we read a book that is clearly written for the... Read more
Published on March 14, 2012 by Christopher Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Sales Man Holy Grail
This book opened my eyes to already what has been said to me by my mentor.... it has everything i need for my job and to develop me. Read more
Published on March 4, 2012 by irish
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Basics But Redundant
The basics concepts are very good in terms of helping supervisors understand their role in stating clear expectations and in providing performance feedback. Read more
Published on March 21, 2011 by KJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an exciting read, but transforming
It's not a captivating read. Some good books aren't that way, but still contain great insight. This is such a book. Read more
Published on October 3, 2010 by Adam Temple
4.0 out of 5 stars Supervisor 101 - It's Okay to be the Boss
How often are new managers set up to fail by not being given basic instructions on their most important job function - managing their employees? Read more
Published on August 6, 2010 by Dianne Walker
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More About the Author

Bruce Tulgan is internationally recognized as the leading expert on young people in the workplace and one of the leading experts on leadership and management. Bruce is a best-selling author, an adviser to business leaders all over the world, and a sought-after keynote speaker and management trainer.

Since 1995, Bruce has worked with tens of thousands of leaders and managers in hundreds of organizations ranging from Aetna to Wal-Mart; from the Army to the YMCA. He has been called "the new Tom Peters" by many who have seen him speak. In recent years, Bruce was named by Management Today as one of the few contemporary figures to stand out as a "management guru" and he was named to the 2009 Thinkers 50 rising star list (the Thinkers 50 is the definitive global ranking of the world's top 50 business thinkers). And on August 13, 2009, Bruce was honored to accept Toastmasters International's most prestigious honor, the Golden Gavel. This honor is annually presented to a single person who represents excellence in the fields of communication and leadership. Past winners have included Marcus Buckingham, Stephen Covey, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard, Tom Peters, Art Linkletter, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Walter Cronkite.

Bruce's forthcoming book THE 27 CHALLENGES MANAGERS FACE: STEP-BY-STEP SOLUTIONS TO (NEARLY) ALL OF YOUR MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2014) will be published in September. He is also the author of the best-seller IT'S OKAY TO BE THE BOSS (HarperCollins, 2007) and the classic MANAGING GENERATION X (W.W. Norton, 2000; first published in 1995). Bruce's other books include WINNING THE TALENT WARS (W.W. Norton, 2001), which received widespread acclaim from Fortune 500 CEOs and business journalists; the best-seller FAST FEEDBACK (HRD Press, 1998); NOT EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY: HOW TO MANAGE GENERATION Y (Jossey-Bass, 2009); MANAGING THE GENERATION MIX (HRD Press, 2006); and IT'S OKAY TO MANAGE YOUR BOSS (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Many of Bruce's works have been published around the world in foreign editions.

Bruce's writing appears regularly in human resources, staffing and management journals, including a regular column in TRAINING magazine called 'Sticky Notes' and a regular column in the Huffington Post. His writing has also appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers such as the Harvard Business Review, BusinessWeek, HR Magazine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. As well, his work has been the subject of thousands of news stories around the world.

Before founding RainmakerThinking in 1993, Bruce practiced law at the Wall Street firm of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn. He graduated with high honors from Amherst College, received his law degree from the New York University School of Law, and is still a member of the Bar in Massachusetts and New York. Bruce continues his lifelong study of Okinawan Uechi Ryu Karate Do and holds a fifth degree black belt. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut with his wife Debby Applegate, Ph.D., who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for her book THE MOST FAMOUS MAN IN AMERICA: THE BIOGRAPHY OF HENRY WARD BEECHER (Doubleday, 2006).


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