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Behind The Wall: Lessons in Leadership Inside the Worlds Largest Retailer

Behind The Wall: Lessons in Leadership Inside the Worlds Largest Retailer

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We've all heard that we're supposed to be innovative, creative, and think outside the box. But what happens when you're stuck inside the box, a very big box? What happens when bad bosses, difficult peers and negative co-workers dominate your life at work? How can you manage in this toxic environment? These are difficult questions with complex answers. Managing isn't easy and it isn't always fun. But despite the many challenges, it can be very rewarding. So how can we move past the challenges and start receiving some of the rewards that come from effective management? I think there are at least four answers to this question. First, great managers are honest. They tell the truth. They don't just tell people what they want to hear. They don't hide from reality. Second, great managers are communicators. They recognize that their role is to gather and share information as broadly as possible. They listen to others. They also use stories and examples to make their words more memorable and meaningful. Third, great managers are humble. They recognize their strengths and weaknesses. They share credit with others and are willing to take the blame. They apologize when they are wrong. They are more concerned about the organization's success than they are with their own popularity. Fourth, great managers are reflective. They learn lessons from their experiences. They have insight because of what they have done and what they have encountered and overcome. They make mistakes, but they don't repeat them. There are probably more than four characteristics of great managers. But I chose these four because they are essential and because Ryan models each of them in this book. He's honest about his experiences in management, even when it doesn't make him look good. He does a fantastic job using real-life stories to illustrate each lesson. He's humble enough to admit that he wasn't a perfect manager and that he doesn't have all the answers. Finally, this book demonstrates his ability to learn from his life and work, to grow from what he's learned, and to share those lessons with others. Management isn't always fun. But you'll have fun reading this book. Management is complex. But Ryan simplifies it. Management is hard. And that is why you need this book. -- David Rendall, author of The Freak Factor and The Four Factors of Effective Leadership