6 Ways Jane Austen Would Have Survived Cubicle Life

By | BLG Leadership Insights, Managerial Competence, Political Competence, Proactive Leaders | 3 Comments

austen

Jane Austen is credited with creating some of literature’s first “modern characters.”

“Modern characters” are just normal people doing normal things. They aren’t powerful warriors in the vein of Achilles or tormented queens like Lady Macbeth.

They’re just the ordinary people you meet every day.

But these characters are hardly boring. Instead, modern characters are recognizable personalities that can teach us a lot about the frustrations and joys of social interactions and institutions.

Jane Austen helped shape this modern movement from a small rectory in North East Hampshire, a few rented rooms in Bath, and a modest house in Hampshire. Her life was quiet and filled with financial stresses, a failed romance, and numerous family dramas.

Austen had little schooling and she never had the time or money to discuss literary theory with London’s primer authors. Yet she wrote six novels that were well regarded both in her century and in ours.

Austen’s ability to observe and her persistence helped her become an accomplished writer–but would these same skills and sensibilities help her survive the modern office? Would her independent and sharp nature thrive in a world of lay-offs and “action-plans”?

These silly questions led me to think of a few reasons Jane Austen might have succeeded in the modern office:

1. Austen Knew How to Deal With Boredom

It’s easy to see Austen making copies and collating documents when she writes in Mansfield Park, “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”

Indeed, Austen has the mental fortitude and the jaded wisdom to survive the minutia of office life. Her ability to look at cubicle life as a collection of minor actions will afford her the opportunity to pursue larger goals to stave off ennui. Boredom often produces brilliance.

2. Austen Would Deal With Failure

In 1803 Austen’s brother, Henry, went to a London publisher named Benjamin Crosby. He showed Crosby Austen’s first novel, Susan, an epistolary novel centered around a brash young women. Crosby liked what he saw and bought the book for 10 pounds–but he never published it. Later, Austen wrote a long and angry letter to Crosby asking for the rights to Susan back. Crosby agreed–if Austen could pay back the 10 pounds. Austen couldn’t afford the price and had to leave Susan unpublished.

Lots of writers would lose confidence after a slow, dragged-out rejection–but Austen kept writing and trying to get published. In today’s business world, Austen’s determination would have earned her a few promotions and the respect of her peers.

3. Austen Understands the Golden Leadership Rule

It’s odd when you read an interview with a CEO and they DON’T mention the importance of having a smart team. The golden rule in business demands that you surround yourself with people who can do crossword puzzles faster than you.  Austen agrees. In her novel Persuasion the following dialogue occurs between the obstinate Anne and Mr. Elliot:

“My idea of good company…is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”

“You are mistaken,” said he gently, “that is not good company, that is the best.”

Austen would only mix with the hard-working, book-loving, strivers in any office and this would propel her career.

4. Austen Could Take Constructive & Un-constructive Criticism

The most scathing critique of Austen comes from Mark Twain. Twain wrote to a friend, “Jane [Austen] is entirely impossible. It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death.” Thankfully, Austen wasn’t around to hear Twain’s remark.

However, Austen faced critics in her own time with little irritation.

In 1811 she published Sense & Sensibility and made a good profit and collected favorable reviews. Soon after, she published Mansfield Park which was panned by critics, but was extremely popular. Austen didn’t let high-brow criticism drown her ambitions and she went on to write Emma, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey.

5. Austen Could Work From Home

We hear the real Jane Austen, momentarily, in Mrs. Elliot’s character in Emma.

She says to the meddling Emma: “Ah! there is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort. Nobody can be more devoted to home than I am.”

Austen rarely traveled and rarely expressed a desire to see the corners of the earth. She was the most productive at home and her mother and sisters would do extra chores so Austen could write without disturbance.

She would have been at home in today’s virtual economy where everything is done remotely, out-of-office, and through email or video chat. Austen could have climbed the corporate ladder without leaving her settee since she was self-motivated and didn’t need a boss or a commute to inspire her to action.

6. Austen Didn’t Like Stupid People

Austen was a master at reading people, mapping out their actions, and dissecting their intentions. All six of her novels prove this point.

But ultimately Austen could judge a person’s intellect by using one criterion.

In Northanger Abbey Austen’s urbane Henry Tilney says, “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

While these words don’t necessarily echo Austen’s sentiment–they probably aren’t too far off. Austen, it would seem, wouldn’t tolerate stupid co-workers.

But the quote also illustrates that Austen valued self-improvement. Novels helped Austen learn more about her craft and the world around her. Her efforts to learn, develop, and grow would have been valued at any firm.

BLG & Inc.edu Workshops Announced

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blg-inc-edu-logo-v.2The Bacharach Leadership Group is excited to announce their exciting partnership with Inc.edu, a corporate university founded by Inc.com exclusively focused on helping entrepreneurs and small businesses leaders to drive growth. BLG will host two workshops, Master the Skills of Influence & Lead Your Teams For Growth, in NYC, DC, and LA in 2015.These two day workshops will help you grow your business, execute business strategy, more effectively market and sell your products and services, and get all of your employees in your business motivated. These workshops will help you get buy-in from employees, customers, business partners, and investors.

The Master The Skills of Influence workshops will be led by BLG co-founder, Cornell University’s McKelvey-Grant Professor, and Inc.com columnist, Samuel Bacharach. The Lead Your Teams for Growth workshops will be led by Yael Bacharach who is an executive coach, a practicing psychotherapist, and Cornell University Coaching course author. Inc.edu and BLG have worked together to tailor content used by industry leaders like Cisco, SunGard, and the Warner Music Group for entrepreneurs and small business leaders.
If you’d like to register for the upcoming workshops being offered by BLG and Inc.edu do so soon. The NYC workshop begins on February 24h. Space is limited and seats are available on a first come-first serve basis. Bring a colleague or your team to scale your business growth even more.

To learn more and register, please go to http://www.blgevents-incedu.com/

Here are the workshop outlines:

Master the Skills of Influence, February 24-25

In this 2-Day workshop, you will develop the political skills necessary to get buy-in for your ideas so you can execute, get results, keep your teams motivated and grow your business
Learn how to:
  • Master the skills of influence to grow sales & customer satisfaction
  • Persuade and win people over to attract investors and customers
  • Overcome & anticipate resistance to change
  • Map the political terrain for allies and resistors
  • Decipher the agendas of others
  • Pitch your ideas
  • Negotiate and mobilize a motivated coalition

Lead Your Teams for Growth, February 26-27

In this 2-Day workshop, you will develop the skills necessary to sustain momentum,  motivate your teams and keep the growth ball rolling.  More effective leaders and teams result in greater sales and customer satisfaction.

Learn how to:

  • Balance facilitative and directive leadership
  • Acquire a coaching mindset to build your team’s capacity to drive growth
  • Lead for engagement to drive and sustain motivation
  • Master the skills of constructive dialogue for difficult situations
  • Maximize the potential of your team to grow your business
  • Partner for goal achievement

Don’t let Hubris be your Downfall

By | BLG Leadership Insights, Features, Proactive Leaders | One Comment

The media has long tried to warn us not to take success for granted. If you have not already taken the queue from Gordon Gecko’s famous portrayal of greed-gone-wrong in the Wall Street movie series, pick up your classic copy of Oedipus Rex, or re-read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar or Macbeth.

What these modern movies, classic tragedies, and iconic plays all have in common is the tragic downfall of a protagonist who succumbs to weaknesses of his own. In traditional Greek, the operative term applied to such characters was “hubris” or overconfidence. Though conceived when the ancient Greek plays were transcribed, the word still applies to many modern leaders.

It is not surprising that when individuals reach extraordinary heights of success, they often lose touch with reality. The media frequently criticizes leaders who display too much pride, seem overly arrogant, or come off as seriously narcissistic. Less elaborately discussed is the gradual process by which these undesirable traits directly lead to the demise of their possessors.

It is important to discuss the symptoms of hubristic leaders so that it is easy to identify such individuals. It is also important to establish that not all confident leaders are presumptuous, and confidence alone is not a blameworthy characteristic. The danger is when after getting to the top, certain leaders start to become narcissistic, which can be blinding and detrimental to themselves and employees.

Certain industries are designed in a way that breeds leaders who think they are always right. Companies that reward the most confident and vocal employees with better opportunities, increased visibility, and company benefits incentivize their workers to adopt aggressive characteristics. With such incentives, it is no wonder that by the time individuals gain prestige, they feel they deserve it because they adapted themselves and paid their dues.

So how do we determine the point when pride and conscientiousness transforms into overconfidence, ignorance, and arrogance?

1.  When a leader starts ignoring the advice and opinions of others. Hence, they often prefer isolation, or act rude and brash when hearing suggestions out of line with their views.

2.  Another revealing act is when leaders overuse company perks for their own personal benefits. This often reflects a sense of entitlement and indestructibility.

3. Because of their inflated sense of superiority, leaders plagued by hubris often repeat actions long after they have stopped being effective. Either they are stuck in their outdated ways and have been ignoring relevant new trends, or they simply think they can get away with anything without being detected. Take the great fraud schemes of Enron and Bernie Madoff.

Despite years of warnings from movies and literature, it seems that certain leaders are still prone to go down a slippery path of self-destruction. Therefore, no matter how high the walls of success may be,  leaders need to keep their egos in check and their feet on the ground. After years of hard work, leaders should enjoy their success, but not let hubris be their downfall.

10 Most Powerful Women in Business

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1)      Marissa Mayer– President and CEO of Yahoo Inc.

At age 37, Mayer is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, and also the first to take such a position while expecting. Prior to Yahoo, Mayer was a distinguished employee at Google where she was the first female engineer and 20th employee hired in 1999. A self-proclaimed geek, Mayer specializes in artificial intelligence. During her 13-year run at Google, she oversaw the launch and development of many of Google’s iconic products, and is credited for the clean look of Google.com.

2)      Indra Nooyi– CEO of PepsiCo Inc.

Currently leading a global enterprise with annual revenue of $39 billion, Nooyi was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on the coast of southern India. After procuring undergraduate and master’s degrees in India, she went against her parent’s wishes and moved to the U.S. to study management at Yale University. Since joining PepsiCo in 1994, Nooyi partook in critical decisions, such as the company’s moves to shed Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in 1997. She also helped orchestrate the company’s $3 billion acquisition of Tropicana in 1998 and $14 billion takeover of Quaker Oats. After net profit more than doubled, she became the company’s 5th CEO in 2007.

3)      Irene Rosenfeld– CEO of Kraft Foods

Rosenfeld has been involved in the food and beverage industry for about 30 years and spent most of her professional life at Kraft. Prior to Kraft, Rosenfeld had nearly a decade-long stint at Cornell University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology, an MS in Business Administration, and a PhD in marketing and statistics. When Rosenfeld presented research to General Foods showing that Kool-Aid commercials should be marketed directly to kids, the pitch won her a job working full-time at the brand, a rare offer for a researcher. She also served as CEO of Frito-Lay for two years before she was appointed CEO of Kraft Foods.

4)      Jill Abramson-Executive Editor of The New York Times

Serving in the highest ranking position in the Times’ newsroom, Abramson is forging a path for women of all ages while overseeing The New York Times report in all its various forms. She is the first woman to hold this position in the newspaper’s 160 year history. Prior to being named executive editor, she was the Times’ managing director, a post from which she helped supervise the coverage of two wars, four national elections, hurricanes, and oil spills. Before joining the Times, she covered money and politics for The Wall Street Journal.

5)      Sheryl Sandberg– COO Facebook Inc.

After attending Harvard Business School, Sandberg worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company and served as chief of staff for the United States Department of the Treasury. She served as Vice President of Global Online Sales & Operations at Google Inc. until 2008. In 2007, co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg met Sandberg and found her a perfect fit for the role of COO. She has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook since 2008. In June 2012, she was also elected to the board of directors by the existing board members, becoming the first woman to serve on its board.

6)      Amy Pascal– Co-Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures

Along with her Co-Chairman Michael Lynton, Pascal oversees all lines of business for the studio, including Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group. Under Pascal’s leadership, Sony Pictures has had 79 movies open to #1 at the domestic box office, more than any other studio. The company has sustained success with movies such as the Men in Black and Spider-Man series and TV shows such as the Dr. Oz Show and Days of our Lives. Pascal was honored with the Crystal Award in 2001 by Women in Film for helping to expand the role of women in the entertainment industry.

7)      Anne Sweeney– Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks & President of Disney/ABC Television Group Frequently named the “Most Powerful Woman in Entertainment” by The Hollywood Reporter, Sweeney propelled the company into the digital era. It was the first group in the industry to leverage iTunes, introduce an ad-supported full episode player online, and deliver an application for the iPad. Sweeney’s leadership enables the group to combine high-quality content with cutting-edge distribution platforms, and deliver compelling news and entertainment to millions globally. Sweeney has been inducted into Cable Center’s Hall of Fame, Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame, and the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement.

8)      Ursula Burns– CEO of Xerox Corporation

As the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company, Burns was raised by a single immigrant mother in a low-income and crime-ridden New York City housing project. A wizard with numbers, Burns worked her way through school and defied teachers who encouraged a traditional career in nursing or teaching. After completing graduate school at Columbia University, Burns first worked for Xerox as a summer intern. Throughout her 20s she worked at Xerox in various roles in product development while slowly rising through the ranks. She was named CEO of the $17 billion industry in July 2009.

9)      Meg Whitman President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard

Always confident and bright, Whitman graduated high school in only three years, attended Princeton University, and received her MBA from Harvard. She served as an executive at high-profile companies such as DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, and Hasbro. She also served as the Vice President of Strategic Planning at The Walt Disney Company. From 1998-2008, she served as President and CEO of eBay, during which she oversaw expansion from 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue. In 2009, Whitman lost a political race to be the next governor of California, but was tapped shortly after to be CEO of computer-giant Hewlett-Packard.

10)  Virginia Rometty– President and CEO of IBM

Always fascinated by electronics and graduating from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Rometty spent the bulk of her professional career working her way up the IBM ladder. In 2002, Rometty emerged on the executive radar when she advised IBM’s Board of Directors to purchase the big business consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting for $3.5 billion. Since becoming the first woman to serve as CEO of IBM, Rometty has spearheaded IBM’s growth strategy by getting the company into the cloud computing and analytics businesses.

Today’s Attention Gap, Tomorrow’s Leadership Gap?

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Every year the Aspen Ideas Festival gathers leading thinkers from around the globe to discuss the latest ideas of what makes a good society. This year, Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam along with his team, presented new data about a starkly widening opportunity gap, as well as some unexpected education and lifestyle trends associated with it.

Most people are broadly aware of the wealth divide between families who live in poverty and those who come from a culture of affluence. The correlation between classes that have less money and their restricted access to educational and work opportunities is generally understood and implicitly accepted as natural.

However, Putnam’s new findings add a psychological dimension to current knowledge of inequality. More than race and poverty, he examines the increasing gap in class and social mobility, which stem from attitude differences of lower strata parents and higher strata parents. These behavioral trends imply disturbing implications for the future.

In a recent New York Times article (The Opportunity Gap), David Brooks discusses some of Putnam’s principle findings. Looking back at the investments that parents make in their children’s earliest years, Brooks highlights the amount of time affluent parents invest in their children’s futures through activities such as reading to them when they are toddlers, explaining their jobs to them, and cheering them on during extracurricular activities.

Then there is the monetary investment that affluent parents make in “enrichment activities.” Compared to children of less-affluent parents, children of wealthy parents are much more likely to partake in tutoring, after-school sports, activities such as music and community service, and religious services that their parents are readily willing to invest in.

In lower strata communities, more children are born out of wedlock. Single parents are unable to find the time and resources to make similar investments in their children’s futures, and their children feel more pessimistic, detached, and uninspired to push themselves to their full potential.

Naturally, children who feel limited by their parents and major social institutions have a diminished sense of purpose and responsibility. It is no wonder that as a consequence, these children’s test scores lag and more doors begin to close for them.

However, as Putnam and Brooks both indicate, if we want more leadership that is representative of our entire society, it is important that we encourage individuals from all rungs of society to reach their highest potential. This means that reformers may need to embrace some uncomfortable changes to ensure that less-affluent kids have a better shot at making it to the top.

While Brooks points to policies such as banning childrearing before marriage and tax cuts for the wealthy, certain educationalists feel that he neglects to address central changes that need to be enacted in the public school systems. For example, some suggest greater implementation of “no excuse” learning models that place high expectations and ambitious academics on low income students, access to digital learning opportunities, performance-based funding that is driven towards kids with more risk factors, and more structural support systems built into communities that need them.

Certainly it will require a combination of sociopolitical changes as well as education reform to truly address the bleak prospects for bottom-quartile children. Putnam’s new data provides an ominous prediction of society’s future if no changes are enacted. So unless we want today’s opportunity gap to become tomorrow’s ambition gap and develop into a continual leadership gap, maybe we ought to start brainstorming some creative solutions.

Leaders in Science: Are we Forgetting Them?

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Every year, when Time compiles its list of the “100 Most Influential People,” of the year, recipients are categorized as a Mogul, a Breakout, an Icon, a Pioneer, or a Leader. What is perplexing is that by categorizing them, there seems to be a degree mutual exclusivity. But does it hold that if a prominent scientist is categorized as a Pioneer, he is unable to be an Icon, a Breakout, or a Leader?

Is there something about the way that we define leadership that prevents us from viewing masterminds of scientific discoveries as leaders unless they found a company or run for election? Or is there a personality we expect a leader to embody, perhaps a way of dressing, communicating, and presenting ideas that we do not typically find from those individuals used to running experiments or publishing textbooks?

Certainly, it is unlikely that a leader of science would ever lead troops onto battlefield or run for public office, but don’t leaders of science perform many of the actions that effective business and political leaders do? Scientists create new and innovative ideas, work relentlessly at gathering support for them so that they can further their development, and when there is a breakthrough, they often shape the entire direction of an industry.

Scientists, such as Edward Jenner who invented the Smallpox vaccine, Robert Edwards who developed the process of in vitro fertilization, or Louis S. Goodman and Alfred Gilman who developed the basis of chemotherapy revolutionized the field of science and the magnitude of human health.  Despite eradicating disease and changing the destiny of infertility and cancer, their names are probably not the first that spring to mind when thinking about “great leaders.”

If our modern concept of leadership is contingent upon the ability for an individual to portray a charismatic personality, communicate vocally, or run a company, then perhaps we ought to challenge how we define the concept, or else create an effort to equip these great scientific minds with the tools and techniques they need so that they too can be recognized as public leaders.

There does seem to be observable effort in the field of leadership training to target leaders of Science. A recent article in Seed magazine describes a group that provides additional training in communication and leadership for scientists by launching programs such as the Science and Public Leadership Fellows program. While many of the candidates of the program are already recognized as leaders in sciences and hold distinctions such as being MacArthur Award winners, NSF Career winners, and PECASE winners, the program focuses on trying to build their reputation as credible general public leaders.

There is promise that the emergence of similar programs can help us to increase public recognition of influential individuals who transformed society and were revolutionaries of a different type. If the individuals who invented the atomic bomb, created vaccinations, allowed test tube conceptions, and developed chemotherapy treatment are not publicly recognized, then we may be at fault for continuing to forget some of the world’s most powerful leaders.

Why Can’t Good People Get Jobs?

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A recent interview between the Wall Street Journal and Wharton Business School’s Director of Management Peter Cappelli discussed his new book Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs. Over the scope of this short interview, he discussed his take on the perceived gap between employers who claim there is a lack of qualified candidates for jobs, and candidates who question why they have been struggling to land jobs they’ve applied to.

His main take on the disconnect underlying this issue is a lack of employers wanting to train prospective job candidates. Presumably, employers are having more difficulty in hiring candidates not because there are less academically qualified people in the market, but because companies are seeking to fill open job roles only with candidates who already have highly similar work experience in very similar companies. Essentially, companies want to do what he describes as “plug and play.”

Additionally, as companies add elaborate prerequisites that they expect candidates to already have, they render it vastly difficult for candidates who have only the academic background or have been unemployed for some time from getting a fair chance at being considered. Coupled with increased reliance on Human Resources application systems that filter out candidates based on resume terminology and selective filters, many capable candidates feel kicked to the curb.

To hear more about what Peter Cappelli thinks are the main three problems that companies and candidates should address to diminish the hiring gap, check out the interview.

Is their good news if we buy into Mr. Cappelli’s view? At least then we can be relieved that the symptom is not the diagnoses. Not facing a true “talent shortage” crisis, we can hope that a better matching of good candidates with open jobs will be efficiently achieved with a bit of targeted restructuring of the hiring process!

The Secret To Leading Teams: Balance

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Yesterday, Professor Sam Bacharach wrote an article for Inc.’s blog, Leading Teams: Find the Right Balance Between Hands-on and Hands-off.

Teams are capable of executing large agendas–but they aren’t always productive. Too many voices can distract and one strongly worded opinion can lead to groupthink. Team leaders need to allow flexibilty, provide rewards, and encourage creativy while setting goals, meeting schedules, and getting things done.

It’s a delicate balancing act that requires careful thought. In the article Professor Bacharach mentions four ways leaders can strike the right leadership balance.

Have You Re-Read Giants of Enterprise?

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In a recent class at Cornell I heard a group of students demythologize famous leaders as part of an exercise. One of my students concluded, “I wouldn’t have wanted to work for Steve Jobs, he seemed like an S.O.B.”

Another student even took Washington down a peg and questioned how bright our founding father really was. He asked weather or not Washington’s silence hinted at tactical stoicism or if his quiet demeanor implied that he often missed the point?

Richard S. Tedlow’s book, Giants of Enterprise, is an exercise in demythologizing leadership.

“Look kiddy,” said Charles Revson, president of the Revlon Corporation, “I built this business by being a bastard. I run it by being a bastard. I’ll always be a bastard…don’t try to change me.”

Revson was speaking to a talented brand manager who he had brought to tears after he demolished a pitch she’d spent months working on.

If Revson was so cruel, then how did he manage to bring the Revlon Corporation to such great heights?

Thomas J. Watson Sr., founder of IBM, didn’t know much about computing. He could understand how a cash register worked, but he didn’t know the mechanics behind building one.

If he didn’t have the technical skill, how did Watson turn IBM into a global force?

No one demythologizes leadership better than Richard S. Tedlow in his still enlightening, entertaining, and engrossing book. It’s a work that must be kept on the shelves of all high potential leaders, current leaders, and those who hope to train leaders.

Tedlow, professor at the Harvard Business School, profiles seven American business innovators and explores what made them successful, what made them tick, and what made them work so hard.

With a keen eye Tedlow writes about, Andrew Carnegie, George Eastman, Thomas J. Watson Sr., Henry Ford, Charles Revson, Sam Walton, Sam Noyce and all the periphery  characters that made these men’s businesses so successful.

It’s easy to look at these business titans and assume they are endowed with something special, something rarefied, that the normal person can’t quite put his finger on.

But Tedlow doesn’t portray these giants of enterprise as larger-than-life men who stomp around palatial offices having nothing but brilliant ideas. He presents these leaders as human beings who, more often than not, had to pick themselves off the floor and brush the dirt off their knees.

The underlying lesson in Tedlow’s book is that leaders aren’t figures that descend from the heavens, but rise through the ranks and make just as many mistakes as the next guy.

And it’s not like each of these men had brilliant, ground-breaking, ideas. They were each knee-deep in competition, surrounded my players who were doing exactly what they were—and in some cases, doing it better. Sam Walton wasn’t the only retailer that discounted–he had to compete with Kmart, Woolworths, and Target. Andrew Carnegie had to compete with other rivals in the steel business—and had to work aggressively to buy them out.  The list goes on. The difference maker for the men illustrated by Tedlow was their leadership ability and how they managed teams, campaigns, agendas, and moments of great upheaval and change.

What Tedlow excels in doing is showing the micro-skills of execution these leaders employed. In many ways he is a biographer of tactics. He shows us how each of these leaders succeeded because they knew how to get things done, push agendas, and politically survive. And, yes, even manage.