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Management in Ten Words: Practical Advice from the Man Who Created One of the World's Largest Retailers Hardcover – June 19, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An excellent book – a veritable management page turner that has interesting things to say about everything from the evolution of British society to the art of transforming huge organisations…you certainly won’t be disappointed.”
- The Economist
 
"The lessons of Terry Leahy’s success with Tesco are applicable to any leader, in any country, in any industry. This book gets to the core of what actually matters in business—the methods and values that really work to drive long-term, consistent high performance. Like its author, Management in Ten Words is candid, inspiring, and insightful. This one is not to be missed.”
- Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric

“This book does an outstanding job of capturing the management beliefs that made Sir Terry’s leadership of Tesco so successful.”
- Robert A. McDonald, CEO, Procter & Gamble
 
“A terrific book. Sir Terry describes ten fundamental concepts for leading change and delivering breakthrough performance, illustrating each concept with vivid examples drawn from his extensive experience.”
- Robert S. Kaplan, Professor at Harvard Business School, co-creator of the Balanced Scorecard
 
“A truly inspirational book that will show you how to lead, how to motivate people and how to develop the skills you need to stay ahead – whatever your walk of life.”
- Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United
 
“In the age of the quick win, Management in 10 Words is a timely reminder to be bold; learn from failure and turn it into part of your success.”
- James Dyson, founder of Dyson
 
 “Management in 10 Words offers an authentic view of how great companies can build a closely connected, high-performance culture.”
- Angela Ahrendts, CEO, Burberry

About the Author

SIR TERRY LEAHY was educated at St. Edward’s College, Liverpool, and then went on to the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, where he gained his BSc (Hons) in management sciences. He joined Tesco when he was twenty-three, became the company’s first marketing director, and was responsible for the introduction of the highly successful Tesco Clubcard. As CEO he oversaw Tesco’s expansion into everything from electrical goods to insurance, built a £1 billion clothing business, and was one of the first to see the potential of the Internet for selling groceries. He was knighted in 2002 for his services to food retailing and has received many industry honors and awards, including the Sunday Times Business Person of the Year in 2010 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Retail Week in 2011.
     Since Sir Terry stepped down as CEO of Tesco in February 2011, he has been in constant demand as a public speaker. He is also a senior adviser to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, the U.S. private equity firm. In addition, he invests in entrepreneurial businesses and is involved with various charities.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (June 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0770435696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0770435691
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The most substantial benefit from this book is derived from what Terry Leahy shares so generously from his personal as well as professional experiences as the former CEO of one of the world's largest, most successful corporations. Almost immediately, he establishes and then sustains a direct, personal, at times almost confidential rapport with his reader. As he would be the first to point out, no matter what any ten words are selected (including his), they are essentially meaningless in the absence of appropriate behavior.

As for Leahy's ten words (i.e. truth, loyalty, courage, values, act, balance, simple, lean, compete, and trust), others of comparable meaning and significance (e.g. authenticity and integrity) could probably have served just as well but that's not the point. Leahy's key insight is that the values one affirms must be in total alignment with how one behaves, especially in relationships with those for whom one is directly responsible. Long ago, Leahy realized that he could not manage others effectively unless and until he understood how to manage himself.

He devotes a separate chapter to each of his ten core values, introducing each with a brief but remarkably precise explanation of the essence of the given value. For example, for Chapter 3: "Good strategies need to be bold and daring. People need to be stretched as they can do more than they think. Goals have to cause excitement, and perhaps just a little fear. Above all, they need to inspire, and present an organization with a choice: have these great ambitions, or remain as you are." And then for Chapter 7, "Change in any fast-moving, fast-growing company is not easy. My solution is quite simple: to make things simple. Simplicity is the knife that cuts through the tangled spaghetti of life's problems.
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I have only read a few management books so if you are an avid reader of such texts, my reactions may not align with yours.

Management in 10 Words is a lovely book in that it keeps giving insights. When I read a book carefully I usually take the time to create a mind map of topics, insights and aphorisms. The size and look of the map is a good indicator of how much I've learned. The mind map for Leahy's book became very dense. I learned a lot and I'll be sure to come back to it from time to time.

Unfortunately, many of the aphorisms were silent, embedded in the text, waiting to be rephrased. If I were the editor I would have taken time to make Leahy's words more quotable.

This is of course not an ordinary management book. I'd say it's 20 % biography and 80 % management insight. It's split up in ten chapters but it doesn't matter much, most of the words will shine through throughout the text. The two final chapters (Compete and Trust) read like a thriller while the chapters Lean and Balance where less inspiring.

I asked Google where wisdom comes from, apparently there are two schools of thought: it either comes from God or it comes from experience. I'm inclined to say that wisdom comes from knowledge and experience. Knowledge comes from study. Experience comes, as Terry Pratchett wrote, from lack of experience. Failures.

Leahy has studied management. He's got a B.Sc. in management sciences and there are many references and lessons learned from literature; Field Marshall Viscount Slim and Samuel Smiles seem to have a special place in Leahy's heart. Leahy has also made several mistakes and regularly reminds the reader of this. He is also stressing that failures are a fact of business and that they must be accepted and learned from.
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The flashy title misleads: this is a solid, practical book on management written by one of the top CEOs in the International retail trade. The common sense that pervades every page of this book applies as well to the retail trade as to most other commercial endeavours and, indeed, should be read by every politician in a democratic society. Frank and transparently honest. A management gem.
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It may be a reflection on me rather than to book, but I did not have the patience to go through the 10 issues. I found the discussion rather shallow and unoriginal. I am OK with unoriginal because a lot of management issues are the disciplined application of rather commonplace ideas. But this did not engage me.

The author is clearly a very successful business man and his leadership of the Tescos from second level supermarket to a dominant company is very impressive. I am also impressed with the application of lean methods of distribution to enable the support of diverse outlets (superstores thru to convenience stores) - although my mother tells me that her local Tescos if often out of stock and the manager complains that he can not order what he needs !!

This is not a book I would recommend.
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A well written acount of Terry Leahy's management experience. A good list of things that have worked for him. A good story about TESCO which Ididn't know. I very interesting read. The book would have been better if he offered some coroberative statistical information to back up his claims.
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This book has been a real poke in the chest as to what I need to do not only to lead my people but also to ensure that everything I do is for my customers. A great insite into a truly successful man and the things he did to get where he is. A perfect book for those seeking to go from good to great!!!!
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