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Ubuntu!: An Inspiring Story About an African Tradition of Teamwork and Collaboration [Kindle Edition]

Bob Nelson , Stephen Lundin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $10.00 (50%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

A powerful story about the African philosophy of teamwork and collaboration that has the power to reshape our workplaces, our relationships with our coworkers, and our personal lives, written by the bestselling coauthor of Fish! and the bestselling author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees.

John Peterson, a new manager in the credit department at a major big-box retailer, is struggling in his job. The people under him are not working as well or effectively as they need to, and his department is falling behind in meeting its goals. His only solution is to take on more work himself, burning the midnight oil and coming in most weekends to pick up the slack and keep his department above water.

When one of the employees stays behind to help him—a young man who came to America from a small village in Africa—he learns of the ancient wisdom and hidden power of the African philosophy of Ubuntu. Before long, it begins to change the way he thinks about the people he works with, about himself, and about how he runs his department and his life.

In an engaging and completely fresh narrative that holds a unique message for today’s business world, Ubuntu! shows us a way to overcome our fears, insecurities, and the “me-ism” that so often permeates our workplaces, and replace it with a culture of genuine respect and collaboration. It promises to take its place alongside Fish! and other business parables as the next bestselling classic in the business category.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ubuntu is an ancient African philosophy that we are all part of one human family and benefit from treating each other with civility and respect. Drawing on research and their own experiences, best-selling authors Lundin and Nelson offer a fictional account of the real-life application of Ubuntu to American business management. John Peterson, a new manager of a major multinational retailer, is struggling in his new position, failing to meet deadlines and to motivate his staff. His most productive employee, a young man from South Africa, introduces John to the concept of Ubuntu: managers must respect the value of every employee, and individuals must put the interest of the team foremost. Lest managers think the approach is too touchy-feely, they should know that Ubuntu requires respect for individuals, not sloppy work, and challenges those individuals who threaten the benefit of the team. The approach was used by Nelson Mandela to bring about reconciliation after apartheid and has gained advocates among managers of American sports teams and corporations as well. The authors include a blueprint for applying the principles of Ubuntu to workplace management. --Vanessa Bush


“The teachings in Ubuntu! can not only help us improve our relationships with others.  These teachings can help us make peace with ourselves and be proud of the way we are living our lives.”
from the foreword by Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times bestsellers MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 263 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307587886
  • Publisher: Crown Business (March 25, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4B12
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,223 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ubuntu at North Country Savings Bank August 2, 2011
Our organization purchased Ubuntu for every employee and one is given to each new employee after my Human Resources Asst. and I were given a copy while attending our NYS Society for Human Resources Management conference last year. The Ubuntu Philosophy has been fully incorporated into our culture and has allowed us to build on the already great place to work we had. The principles shared in this book regarding the humanity of all people and brining that into our workplace is truly inspiring and the bottom line benefit of happy, engaged employees is critical to success. I would suggest this book to anyone or any organization looking to truly live their talk about being a people friendly workplace, or an organization that values it's people as its most important asset! The North Country Savings Bank became the #1 Best Company to Work for in New York State in 2010 in part because we incorporated the Ubuntu Philosophy into our culture in every way possible. It is even in our annual assessments! We believe it is that important to our success as a business.
We Are All In This Together! Not just words, a way of life :)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read... July 24, 2010
Ubuntu is a fantastic concept. Since reading the book, I have utilized Ubuntu in staff and student trainings, classes, and programs. Outstanding. The challenge with the book is that the story is contrived and at times, a groan to read. If you can look beyond this- and uncover the importance of Ubuntu- it is a worthwhile read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars J. Garrison June 6, 2010
This book appeals to many different audiences. It is a quick read with suitable content to be applicable to workplace management, team building, developing learning communities and personal reflection. It is a fictional work which takes the reader through the individual and professional transformation of John Peterson from an authoritarian manager and distant spouse and father to a reflective and caring person who understands the value and necessity of recognizing the humanity in all people. Peterson hits rock bottom in both his work and personal life. He encounters Ubuntu when one of his staff sacrifices personal time to help Peterson out of a professional jam. Thus begins the transformative power of Ubuntu; the power found within a collaborative community striving together by discovering a unity of purpose and humanity. This book is both uplifting and reflective. An added bonus is the insight into the South Africa of today; the power of reconciliation to begin the healing process from the years under apartheid, the poverty that still grips the country; the beauty of the veldt; and the magic that is Africa.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome April 30, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was amazing. I read it in two says once I got it. This idea and spirit is just what I was looking for.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ubuntu Message for Community Change August 1, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've appreciated the concept and philosophy of Ubuntu for quite some time, and was looking for a good way to share this easily with others in business and community contexts. I am grateful to authors Lundin and Nelson for sharing Ubuntu in the form of a business fable that makes it easily accessible to readers at all levels. Just last week, one of my colleagues shared this philosophy in an inter-generational summer camp. You can read more here if you'd like to learn about one way to bring the concept to life:[...]

Ubuntu is powerful for business teams and organizations, and for community building. I strongly recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some good insights in this book September 2, 2012
It is a quick read. If you are a fast reader, you can finish it in a couple of hours.

I liked the way the Ubuntu philosophy is explained through a fictional story. But, in the other hand, the story feels a little bit "artificial" because of that. There is some good ideas in this book that you can try a your own workplace.

Borrow this book from your local library if you can. Don't buy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every leader should read this book April 19, 2014
By CD614
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for a masters program I'm in, but I think this is the better leadership book I have read. It has inspired me to be a better leader, when the time comes, but more importantly, it has inspired me to want to be a better human being. Every leader, at every level, should put this book on their reading list and read it.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ubuntu! Is a book about community and working together with others, where you see each other as equals regardless of titles, corporate or social structures. Combining to achieve a common goal should unite everybody as they share the same goal. The main takeaway mimics and old acronym for TEAM: together everyone achieves more, but goes a lot deeper by explaining that the team is universal and is a human to human team rather than the isolated islands we find ourselves on, either professionally or personally. When people know about and care for each other the motivation to succeed and see them succeed grows exponentially
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Easy read and AWESOME message
Published 10 months ago by Amy Eiken
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book!
Everyone should read this especially if you are in management field and work with your team. I have read this and will read this again and again. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Doug
1.0 out of 5 stars ehh
Lack luster story that is nothing more then common business sense. If you're brand new to business then read other wise try "It's your ship"
Published 14 months ago by Mark H. Dillon
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophy that is under our noses.
Being born in South Africa, this should be common sense to me, but it took reading tip his book to realise what I was missing out on.
Published 15 months ago by Tome
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cover to Cover Life Changing Read You Won't Regret!
Totally unexpected! A business book that's not only about business - but really about life. It reads like a novel. Read more
Published 21 months ago by repeat customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Ubuntu review
This book makes the point Very good way in a story format I bought copies of the book for my coworkers.
Published 21 months ago by Jpacker
5.0 out of 5 stars a well thought out presentation of a simple idea
This is an easy enjoyable read that will benefit most people at all levels of interaction whether personal, or professional.
Published 24 months ago by Keith
4.0 out of 5 stars A good one
Describes such a basic technique that we somehow forget...building each other up and working as a team. An encouraging book, helpful to see the views of all levels of a workplace. Read more
Published on May 25, 2013 by Reece
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Great team-motivating story. It humanizes the management experience and helps build the team spirit. Read more
Published on December 30, 2012 by mmanigotru
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