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The Pursuit of Something Better Paperback – July 15, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0982443705 ISBN-10: 0982443706 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Ridge Books; 2nd edition (July 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982443706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982443705
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,416,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book teaches, inspires, and entertains, and it should be required reading in every business school, boardroom, and consultancy seminar. --Jim Kouzes, Award-winning author of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge<br /><br />This uplifting book...reinforces my belief that investing in associates and developing leaders can bring about wonderful results for the company, the customers, and the shareholders. --Ronald E. Daly, Trustee, Loyola University School of Business<br /><br />This uplifting book...reinforces my belief that investing in associates and developing leaders can bring about wonderful results for the company, the customers, and the shareholders. --Ronald E. Daly, Trustee, Loyola University School of Business<br /><br />This uplifting book...reinforces my belief that investing in associates and developing leaders can bring about wonderful results for the company, the customers, and the shareholders. --Ronald E. Daly, Trustee, Loyola University School of Business

This uplifting book...reinforces my belief that investing in associates and developing leaders can bring about wonderful results for the company, the customers, and the shareholders. --Ronald E. Daly, Trustee, Loyola University School of Business

About the Author

David Esler and Myra Kruger combined their 30 years of corporate communication, human resources, and consulting experience into Esler Kruger Associates in 1987. Their consulting firm focuses on culture change, organizational surveys, and executive counsel in effective leadership. They are based in Highland Park, Illinois.

Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
In 2000, Jack Rooney became the CEO of U.S. Cellular.
E. M. Van Court
While I found the book both easy to read and provocative, I did find it awkward that the authors were in the story a few times but in the third person.
Deb Nam-Krane
I felt like the story could have been tightened up just a bit, but I am perfectly willing to overlook that.
John Chancellor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Van Court VINE VOICE on July 21, 2009
If you think this is a business book, a work on leadership, a management concept, a "self-help" book, a case study in ethics, a case study in corporate culture change, a business biography, or great story, you'll be pleased as it is all of these and then a bit.

In 2000, Jack Rooney became the CEO of U.S. Cellular. At that time, U.S. Cellular could have been the role model for the employer in Dilbert - The Complete Series. Disaffected employees, clueless self-serving managers, and disconnected profiteering executives; all that was missing was the pointy hair on the managers and a female engineer who punched co-workers (or these were left out of the book?). In 2008, against all expectations of 2000, U.S. Cellular is an aggressive competitor in the cellular industry. Jack Rooney's leadership was the driving force behind the complete transformation of the corporate culture that led to this overwhelming success.

The philosophy behind the change is Dynamic Organization (D.O), a statement of behaviors and values expected of every member of U.S. Cellular. What makes this unusual is that the CEO (Rooney) lived the behaviors and values and expected everyone, executives, managers, and engineers as well as store employees and call center workers. To ensure compliance, leaders are rated by their subordinates, and the subordinates rate their bosses' boss. Talk about heresy in corporate America. Needless to say, there were some rough spots between 2000 and 2008.

The D.O. statement itself is not earthshattering or terribly innovative, but competent, proven, and above all, ethical guidelines for conduct and teamwork. The enablers to make this succede are all communications.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on September 26, 2009
The story that this book should be concentrating on is the story of Jack Rooney and the transformation of US Cellular. But often the writing gets in the way.

Note to consultants who want a book about your successes. Either write the book in the first person or hire someone to write the book about you.

Here, the authors are also characters in their own book. They write about themselves in the third person. When you see a reference to "Kruger," you can be sure of two things. The person referred to is author Myra Kruger, describing herself in a kind of literary out-of-body experience. And she will be doing something wonderful, never something ordinary.

In most cases, that would be reason enough to recommend that you simply pass the book by. But there's a lot of value here, even if you have to slog through the mud of self-aggrandizement and muddled prose to fish it out.

First there is the basic story of Jack Rooney and the transformation of US Cellular. When he took over at US Cellular they were a small, mostly rural cell phone company that made most of their money by charging roaming fees when customers of their larger rivals strayed into their service area.

When Rooney took over at US Cellular in 2000 it could have been a poster child for everything you've ever hated about every cell company you've ever had. He came to the job with a good track record, especially at Ameritech.

Within four years, things had changed. That was when local number portability first allowed cell customers to switch carriers and keep their phone number. The analysts figured that smaller carriers, like US Cellular would suffer the most.

Most of them did. US Cellular was an exception.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Carey VINE VOICE on August 4, 2009
Business in the twenty- first century hasn't been pretty. Enron, Worldcom, and other large businesses ended up collapsing due to ethics violations charged to the companies' senior leadership. This led to cynicism on the part of the public and greater regulations on businesses as governmental bodies looked for ways to prevent another serious corporate scandal from occurring again. In the middle of all of this turmoil, there still existed some ethical businesses and one of them is the subject of this book. The company is U.S. Cellular and this book is dedicated to this cell phone service provider and its corporate transformation; a change of both culture and business practice that led U.S. Cellular to the success and admiration that it enjoys today.

Business has always been in a state of change, but the information age has increased the speed and need for change to levels never before seen in history. Some companies are mired in their ways, with employees that are resistant to change every step of the way. This was, in a nutshell, the type of company that Jack Rooney inherited when he took over as CEO of U.S. Cellular in 2000. The company was going nowhere fast and its employees were underdeveloped, lacked focus, and didn't necessarily know how they could or should perform. Rooney knew he had a challenge in front of him, and he accepted it with vigor and determination. He helped to change the business from top to bottom, improving not only the bottom- line numbers but also improving the individual lives of employees.

The Pursuit of Something Better, in many ways, reads like a typical business success story. Here, you have a business stuck in the doldrums; anemic at its core and in need of quick resuscitation if it hopes to survive.
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