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Great Boss Dead Boss Paperback – September, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ray Immelman is a certified management consultant. He shares new insights in organizational behavior from his personal involvement in close to two hundred companies worldwide.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart Philip International (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974036919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974036915
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David J. Anderson on February 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you only read one book this year, it has to be this one! I saw Ray Immelman speak at the TOC ICO Word Conference in Miami last October. His work came highly recommend from a mutual friend. So I thought there had to be something in it worth learning.

What I didn't expect was that this book would change the way I thought about organization and communication down, across and up. If management is about two things then organizational structure and communication are perhaps the two most basic. Great Boss, Dead Boss has made me rethink both of those. I'm deliberately not telling you what the book is about because that would spoil it for you. What I can say is that it takes the form of a novel similar to Eli Goldratt's The Goal. However, despite the fact that Ray Immelman is part of the TOC community and works for Realization Software. This is not a TOC book. It's a book about people, about relationships, about affiliation, motivation, loyalty and leadership. It's a book which is very applicable to the agile software community. If agile's unique contribution to software development was the inclusion of people related factors then Great Boss, Dead Boss offers us that same contribution for management.

And finally, if you are going through a merger or acquisition then this story of the merger of two leading silicon chip manufacturers is required reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the better management books I've read. I purchased the paperback copy because it was the same as the Kindle price and I figured if I wasn't going to get a discount for buying the electronic version, I wanted to be able to hold the actual book in my hands. Then the book was so good I broke down and bought the Kindle version anyway so i would be able to read it anytime, anywhere without having to haul the book around with me. As a front-line manager in a very large company, this book has some great tools for how to foster a motivated, engaged, and inspired team a midst the corporate bureaucracy and chaos that all too often surrounds us.
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Format: Paperback
The logic and deep understanding of this book is incontestable, and it has implications well beyond the limits of the business world. Yet will those who read this dare to implement its iconoclastic observations? This is the most credible formula I have ever seen for creating the conditions necessary to extract the very best performance, individually and collectively, from any group of individuals. Let us hope, at this time when we drastically need to re-appraise the way that we interact with each other in business and other environments, that books as important as Immelman's are given the widespread respect and utilisation that they deserve...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is a refreshing perspective on how to create a motivated and coordinated work force in a company. It is highly recommended reading.

The reason I don't give it a give star rating, is that it's a tad too American style for my European liking. Also, presenting the insights through a story works very well, but from time to time it's apparent that the author is more a management consultant than a professional writer.

Finally, I have to admit that I still haven't quite worked out the meaning behind the title of the book... 😉
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the last few years I've been building my company to have a specific type of self-reinforcing corporate culture. There is still authority, there is still people with assigned roles, but I wanted my group to feel truly energized about working on our products and projects.

I have noticed over the years that management books recommend a lot of activities but the subtext was always this: communication is the heart of a good environment.

My psychological training (sorry tom cruise) has also given me great insights into what motivates and what demotivates people. But those mechanistic models of action and reaction were always searching for a unifying construct.

Ray's construct is tribal behavior and balancing our need to feel good about ourselves and the groups to which we belong.

In essence, people tend to gravitate toward groups that reinforce their self-worth. Traditional business structures tend to rigidly group people and, by doing so, people identify with smaller groups of their own design rather than their larger corporate or office group. The results are seldom good.

When I was working for a large consulting company, I was initially part of and later the lead of their Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Group. We had millions of dollars in contracts every year and, despite the work we put into educating the planners and engineers of what we did - they would routinely sub out ITS work.

At first we thought they were not getting what it was we were doing. But in reality what was happening was that they got much more value from subbing out our work.
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Format: Paperback
Ray has done every organisational leader a great service by providing a framework for understanding the riddle wrapped in an enigma that is leadership. His insights into our tribal behaviour and how the dynamic of individual and collective security and value can not only be understood, but practically applied to the betterment of all, raises the bar for all interested in the field of group dynamics. His decision to use the form of a novel as the vehichle for the explanation of his insights makes them accessible and easily understood, whilst not diluting the power of the ideas themselves. I have always wondered how you can get a group of people with different and varied affiliations to not only work for the common good, but actually want to excel at doing so. In Great Boss Dead Boss, Ray shows the reader some high leverage answers to the question. The book, written in a captivating prose style, follows the protagonist Greg's journey of discovery, mentored by the crusty, wise Butch. In the storyline are countless nuggets of wisdom and insight which would serve well anyone who aspires to a position of leadership.
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