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Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compares very favorably to best know management guides, October 30, 2009
This review is from: Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions (Hardcover)
In my 20+ years in managment, I've read many of the best sellers, including some excellent ones. I'd put "The Fifth Discipline", "Good to Great", "In Search of Excellence", "First Break all the Rules" and almost anything by Jack Welch near the top. I've also read most of Deming, Juran, Crosby, Sherkenbach, and Victor Vroom. You probably recognize Deming, Juran and Crosby. Sherkenbach, also a TQM guru, led Ford Motors' quality program. Vroom wrote "Work and Motivation" back in the 60's -- it is THE seminal work on employee motivation and is still available. If you haven't read it and you have any interest in the subject, you need to.

Of all of these works, only "First Break All The Rules" is as readable as "Just Ask Leadership". A couple of hours of light reading gets you some memorable and practical advice. I was responsible for strategic planning for an 800 employee, $300 million/year organization so I think I know that subject as well as anyone. Chapter 1 of "Just Ask" is as good a guide to strategic planning as I've ever read.

I read Bock's review and I understand his criticism about the loose structure. Unlike many of the best sellers mentioned above, "Just Ask" doesn't boil all of managmement down to a neat half dozen bromides ("stick to the knitting" "loose-tight management" etc). This is not a dispargement of the best sellers. I like those books and I have often found those bromides helpful, despite their triteness. But, "Just Ask" is ultimately about just one thing -- How would your management practices be changed if you started all of your problem solving with a series of questions? You could spend three hours contemplating that question or you could read "Just Ask". I think you'll find reading "Just Ask" to be a much better use of your time.

Yes, "Just Ask" is, ultimately, a one trick pony. But, it's a good trick. One well worth learning -- and one that "Just Ask" teaches well.
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Location: St. Paul, MN

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