From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Here's a business book that knows what it is: A beautifully constructed guide for the would-be manager or veteran. Murray, deputy managing editor of the Wall Street Journal and sophisticated business guru, is remarkably able to engage the reader and clarify subjects that are often discussed but seldom understood. Murray's common sense is easy to absorb. Great leaders "exhibit a paradoxical mix or arrogance and humility"; business survivors are the "ones who kept their heads." With intriguing anecdotal tales of top managers and execs, a focus on the importance of diversity and its impact on global business, the need to speak "truth to power" and maintain across-the-board measurability, Murray's message is an encouraging call for all concerned to realize the essence of strategic thinking. A brief but enlightening chapter deals with business in China; another addresses the basics of financial literacy and begins, "Don't skip this chapter." Other highlights include frequent references to the advice of avowed business experts and helpful "further reading" lists at the end of each chapter. A winner.
The point of this well-written handbook is readily identifiable: how to be a good manager. What is found here are readable ideas from the deputy managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, winner—not surprisingly, once you’ve entered into the book’s pages—of several awards for his own writing. It’s a big topic, obviously, and one that is not easily defined. People are promoted to the managerial level in droves every day, few with any guidance in good management, “as if the airlines chose their pilots from among their passengers.” Where to turn for such help? Hopefully, to this book, wherein Murray lays out in helpful order and understandable prose what he considers the best practices for a good manager to follow; especially instructive are his discussions of “six different styles that leaders use to motivate others.” Not only does his own experience stand behind the book, but he also draws on what he calls the “best from the existing body of knowledge, research, and practice.” For serious consideration for any library business collection. --Brad Hooper