How to Become A Great Boss: The Rules for Getting and Keeping the Best Employees
by Jeffrey J. Fox
reviewed by Freda Turner

Jeffrey Fox, author and founder of Fox & Co., a premier marketing consulting firm in CT, defines a great boss as one that can stir and motivate individuals to increase organizational performance. Fox's success strategies include hiring the right talent with the right attitude to strengthen the organization's gene pool and suggests ways to keep employees fired up.

Fox provides illustrations showing that employees model behaviors of their boss. For example, if the boss appears disinterested in customer retention, soon this phenomenon will engulf the entire organization. Great bosses must appear energetic and vigorous in order to attract employees with the same high mental and physical energy needed for competitive advantages.

Accountability must start with the boss. Everyone in a great organization knows who the under performers are. Great bosses try to groom all employees. However, if there is no positive return on the efforts after a period of time, the great boss makes the hard decision to terminate (with dignity) mediocre/incompetent performers who add no value to the growth and success of the organization. Using the stock market as an example, the author shows that a great boss knows the better returns come by spending the bulk of their coaching time with the highest performers. The author provides several great examples.

Fox provides readers with suggestions regarding 'buy in' strategies of those individuals who have been outstanding performers but have skill sets that are no longer needed. For example, Mickey Mantle overstayed his time. Mantle's lifetime batting average was .299, however, if Mantle had not played that last year, he would have had a lifetime average of .300.

Great bosses learn from mistakes, are principled, are team builders, and do not fear talent. They seek suggestions and different perspectives, let people do their jobs and seek to learn from their employees in order to grow the organization. Great bosses learn from the complaints of disgruntled employees and customers by listening with respect, evaluating the message and considering complaints as 'gifts' of new perspectives and knowledge. Just as great athletes continue to learn of their weak areas, great bosses discipline themselves to learn every day and reward employees who grow intellectually as well.

The book provides readers many excellent tips and strategies on being a great boss - and that results in employees, the boss and the organization all emerging as winners.

How to Become a Great Boss
The Rules for Getting and Keeping the Best Employees

by Jeffrey J. Fox
Hyperion Publishing
May 2002

Freda Turner teaches at the University of Phoenix and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. She may be reached at

Article and reviews by Freda Turner | Many more book reviews and features in Refresher Reviews and Recommended Reading in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2002 by Freda Turner. All rights reserved.

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