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Undercover Boss: Inside the TV Phenomenon that is Changing Bosses and Employees Everywhere Hardcover – November 2, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470916001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470916001
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,118,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'...compelling and fun read... also offers keen insights for anyone curious about how a reality series is made.' (Euroinvester.co.uk, November 2010). '...fun...hugely entertaining book...a handy and easily digestible reference of useful ideas...recommended.' (Talent Engagement Review, December 2010).

From the Back Cover

2010 Emmy Nominee for Outstanding Reality Progam

"For a popular television series, Undercover Boss has an unusual knack for raising deep and weighty questions."
Forbes

"Undercover Boss has clearly touched a nerve with viewers. It's the kind of popular entertainment that can start out as one thing—a fun, high-concept reality show—but morph into something that affects the zeitgeist."
Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor, The Huffington Post

"Undercover Boss has become a rare new hit on broadcast television."
The Wall Street Journal

"This kind of workplace morality tale evidently has particular resonance in a recession."
The New York Times

"Simple and brilliant."
The New York Daily News

"Emotionally stirring, with catharsis and messages of virtue rewarded and lessons learned for the betterment of all."
The Baltimore Sun

On February 7, 2010, the CBS television series Undercover Boss premiered to a staggering 38.6 million viewers, the largest post–Super Bowl audience for a new series and the most-watched premiere episode of any reality series in the history of television. Since that time, Undercover Boss has been the subject of much debate and discussion.

Now, for the first time, the bosses and employees featured on Undercover Boss share the lessons they learned as well as the formative experiences that resulted from being on the show. Show creators and executive producers Stephen Lambert and Eli Holzman reveal how they came up with the idea for the show, how they got a major network on board, and of course, how they found a dynamic, charismatic group of bosses willing to go undercover—on camera—in this thoroughly new experiment. Featured brave bosses and companies include:

  • Waste ManagementLarry O'Donnell, President and COO

  • Hooters of AmericaCoby Brooks, President and CEO

  • 7-ElevenJoe DePinto, President and CEO

  • White CastleDave Rife, Owner

  • Churchill DownsBill Carstanjen, COO

  • GSI CommerceMichael Rubin, Founder and CEO

  • Herschend Family Entertainment Joel Manby, President and CEO

  • Roto-RooterRick Arquilla, President and COO

  • 1–800-FlowersChris McCann, President and COO

Featuring all-new interviews with the bosses and employees of the nine businesses featured on Season 1 of the show, as well as producers' notes on what you didn't see behind the scenes, this book is a must-have for fans of the show everywhere.


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Customer Reviews

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The book covers a lot of interesting tidbits during the filming of the series.
Nuknuk
This is a nice book for those that love to know what really goes on in a company when the boss is undercover.
Amazon Customer
All I was told was that they were filming a documentary about what it's like to be a casino dealer.
Donn Kaplan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Carey VINE VOICE on February 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Undercover Boss is an interesting television program. It follows an executive of a large company as he/she goes undercover in his/her own company, rubs elbows with employees, and discovers what the employees experience on a daily basis. The experience is often eye- opening, as bosses find out what it is like to perform these often mundane tasks. They admit that they walk away from the experience with a new and better understanding of their company and its people.

The popularity of this television program has led to much discussion and revelations about the workplace. It has also resulted in this book, Undercover Boss. The book, like the television program, highlights bosses of specific companies. A total of nine companies are profiled in this book and each chapter begins with photos of the boss, both in his usual work wardrobe and in his undercover disguise. The chapters then proceed to discuss the company, the boss' personal story, the different jobs covered, his revealing of himself to those he worked with, and what happened to each of the individuals following the television show.

Undercover Boss is a very revealing television program and bosses admit that the experience was life- changing and one of the most eye- opening events of their careers. This book includes many of the awkward moments, embarrassing situations, and emotional outbursts experienced as bosses try to complete physical tasks and learn about their employees and their problems/issues, both on the job and off. The highlights of this book are not just the day- to- day experiences on the job, but also the extra tidbits, included under the heading: producer's note, what you didn't see.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bridget W on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Since I saw some of the first episodes of this show last year - 7/11, Roto Rooter, Hooters, 1800 Flowers - I've been a fan. It seemed very real and like the bosses and employees both got something out of the experience. There's just something about seeing a "suit" sweep or unclog drains or work the night-shift.... I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the book version of season 1! It read like a prolonged episode of the show - and you don't have to wait a week between stories. There's really so much insight that wouldn't fit into the regular hour-long program including commercials. There are Producer's Notes and What You Didn't See and Since the Show sections. Since the Show is my favorite, and it's real! Not all of the employees stayed on with the company or took the position they were offered. The TV version of the show has obviously been given the Hollywood treatment, but the book makes it a bit more clear how these experiences could be used to help bossess/employees really improve their business or company. So in that regard, I'd say the book is better, definitely practical in addition to being entertaining.

Overall I found this to be a really fast fascinating read - I'm already going to get my Dad a copy for Christmas but I'll probably end up picking up a few extras for other people on my list (seems like it'd be a good present for just about anyone with a job!)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nuknuk TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is based on the hit CBS TV series about CEOs and the topmost leaders of companies who went undercover to view their companies from a completely different perspective. What a brilliant and wonderful idea!

Imagine how fun it is for the bosses to do this. Not only they are doing it for fun, they are also on reality TV.

The culmination of their respective mission is exciting when they reveal their true identities to those they worked for. Some are extremely joyful, some were shocked, some scared of what they might have done, and some even ended up in embarrassments. The book covers a lot of interesting tidbits during the filming of the series.

Most of the CEOs also had some intimate and heart-to-heart talks with some of their unsuspecting lower ranking company employees. They talked about their personal lives while sharing and confiding their problems.

At the end of each segment, there is a short summary to what happened to each individual employee after their close encounters. Some were given promotions, other kind of incentives, while some others have moved on succumbing to their embarrassments.

There are 9 heads of the companies in this book. Each one has learned extraordinary experience by working among the low ranking employs.

Larry O'donnell, President and COO of Waste Management
Coby Brooks , President and CEO of Hooters
Joe DePinto, President and CEO of 7-Eleven
Dave Rife, Owner of White Castle
Bill Carstanjen, COO of Churchill Downs
Michael Rubin, Founder and CEO of GSI Commerce
Joel Manby, President and CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment
Rick Arquilla, President and COO of Roro-Rooter
Chris McCann, President and COO of 1-800-Flowers

As with the TV series, the book is very interesting and very entertaining to read.

How about Steve Jobs?
Unfortunately, ...that will never happen.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book details the first season of the successful CBS show, Undercover Boss. A nice read. Wish the publishers put out a book covering Season 2. I was on the episode when they featured the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. I was the roulette dealer. Honestly, I had NO idea what was going on which is probably why I was chosen. All I was told was that they were filming a documentary about what it's like to be a casino dealer. Sounded good to me. The book is well written and an easy read.
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