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It's Okay to Be the Boss: The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need Hardcover – March 13, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Tulgan, author and expert on Generation X workers (born between 1965 and 1977), considers what he calls the epidemic of "undermanagement" in corporate America--or, the failure of managers to take daily charge of the work environment and tell employees what to do and how to do it. He identifies seven big management myths, including there not being enough time to manage people; that to be fair, everyone should be treated the same; and the desire of managers to be "nice guys." Today's change in corporate culture from long-term employees working their way up the ranks to short-term workers in flattened organizations reporting to project managers who "empower" them leads to failure, because employees are not really free and managers are not trained. The author decries managers' lack of guidance, direction, feedback, and employee support, and he responds in this book with hands-on management advice that he clearly differentiates from micromanagement. The author tells us, "Taking the first step toward effective managing takes discipline and guts." An excellent book. Mary Whaley
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Review

Hands on management advice . . . an excellent book. (Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management, The Wharton School)

“If you want to be successful, I strongly recommend you do it the ‘Tulgan way.’” (General Dennis J. Reimer (Ret.), Chief of Staff, United States Army (1995-1999))

“Bruce Tulgan makes it safe again to be a hands-on manager.” (Mike Archer, President of Applebee's Services, Inc.)

“Hands-on management advice . . . excellent.” (Booklist)

“Small business owners . . . will find [Tulgan’s] advice valuable.” (BusinessWeek SmallBiz)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; 1st edition (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061121363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061121364
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was attracted by the very direct title, and the book delivered. It is specific, detailed, and honest. I particularly appreciated Tulgan's warning that becoming a better manager is like starting a fitness program. I'd rather it wasn't hard, time consuming, and something that requires daily discipline, but I like that he's up front about it. And that his book has so many specific things to do, answers to objections, and reasons it's worth it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an exceptional tool for managers. It helps us to understand the delicate balance between micromanaging and not managing at all.

One of the biggest areas of frustration for managers is exactly that, managing other people! This book teaches you how to be proactive about managing, and how you can head off most "people headaches" long before they blow up in your face. Most managers get promoted into positions because they were good employees - but often do not have any management experience at all. I support this book and OFTEN recommend it because it helps managers to understand the importance of basic respect and involvement in their employee's day-to-day worklife. Management does not need to be difficult, and this book shows you both why and how.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bruce Tulgan's "It's OK to Be the Boss" is one of the toughest books I've ever read/reviewed. His premise, like most of his previous work, is dead on accurate. When I saw somebody willing to say there's a crisis of "undermanagement," I was thrilled. So I'd give the book a five on promise - and some of that is fulfilled. But unfortunately, the execution is a -4 so the rating ends up as only one star. I think he could have made most of his good points without the pieces that ultimately will only confuse managers - and in many cases give them excuses for not doing the very things Tulgan's arguing must be done.

It starts early with Tulgan's criticism of the work from Blanchard, Buckingham, and even a backhand compliment of Adler's hiring formula. What's particularly misleading, no matter how much Tulgan might deny it, is that it is obvious he has never read the works he criticizing. Blanchard has been making it very clear for decades that the "One Minute Manager" takes more than a minute; Buckingham makes it even clearer that the steps in "First, Break All the Rules" are not just empowerment and require the very detailed regular attention to the very detail that Tulgan calls for. Buckingham's most recent works on a "strengths-based" approach is backed by solid research - not just anecdotal evidence Tulgan cites. He even misinterprets the classic Theory X - Theory Y, not knowing that McGregor clearly stated that a Theory Y Manager recognized the existence of Theory X assumptions about some employees (in 1960 estimated at 35% of the workforce).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a new supervisor I am always looking for good advice. Bruce Tulgan spoke at our companies Leadership Development meeting and knocked everyone's socks off.
He breaks it down how to manage people without micromanaging and how to correct negative behavior without demeaning the staff member. Bruce is about leadership and leading by example. He is also about clearly being in charge. The balance is hard to maintain but he makes it work
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Format: Hardcover
If you're like me, someone needing to get better at management but with little formal training, this book is definately for you. It really separates myths from reality and let's us know that what most of us think is "common business knowledge" quite often turns out to either flawed or just plain incorrect. I also like that Bruce is very upfront. He's tells the reader straight away that managing is not simple, not easy and improving at it won't happen overnight but that with effort and hard work we can improve.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read so many leadership books, and this one is the BEST I've read! It's very concise and actually works!! He doesn't apologize for what he has to say and the employees love his techniques. I just ordered two more copies for the managers under me to read. It's super!!!!! I wish it were on CDs!
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Format: Hardcover
A short time ago, I worked for a small-sized company with somewhat oversized ambitions, but I could never pinpoint why I felt the business's ambitions were out of synch with its practices. I happened to pick up Bruce Tulgan's book, It's Okay to Be the Boss, and after just the first few pages, I knew under-management was the culprit I couldn't name. Tulgan has aptly christened an unfortunate corporate ailment. His book is a meaningful attempt to "lift the lid" and expose the sorry state of today's management, while providing the necessary course corrections. He emphasizes daily interaction; establishing methods for accountability; and clarity, clarity, clarity.

The book has several strengths:
1. Instinctual, but not impulsive. Tulgan's message resonates in an intuitive way - "Yes! It is okay for me to be the boss!" and "Indeed, it will be hard work, but it will be worthwhile." His message cuts through the daily noise and excuses to plainly remind managers of their primary, even sacred duty: get people to work at their best (very hard, very fast) all day long. Yet his book does not "rush in" - he is pragmatic and reasonable. Tulgan does not hype absurd or pointless tricks. He is not about cutting corners.
2. Immediately actionable. Do not be surprised if you feel the urge to implement these techniques as soon as possible - in fact, it is likely that you'll be tempted to put the book down half-way through and announce "Great news, I'm the boss! And I'm going to do my best to be a great one!" His strategies are simple and straightforward. You can begin managing with these techniques immediately (like holding your first 15 minute standing meeting) - there is no need to meditate heavily or layout a long-range vision.
3. Realistic. Tulgan does not pad the landing.
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