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Four Stars

losing itEven though I’m currently sort of self-employed (that is, I work, but make no money), I sometimes still enjoy reading about the corporate world. Bill Lane was Jack Welch‘s speechwriter at GE for many years, and as a result had a front-row seat to all sorts of managerial behavior; from the ridiculous to the amazing and everything in between.

In Losing It!, Lane observes the sorts of behaviors that are pretty typical in the business world, but that are highly detrimental to success. Although most of these apply specifically to the upper managers in large corporations, most are applicable to just about any career path. In other words, they’re common sense.

Lane provides tips on maintaining your integrity in tricky ethical situations, the difference between “presiding” and managing, how to micromanage selectively (a tough pill for me to swallow, personally), dealing with distractions- particularly at the executive level- arrogance and communication.

I sometimes felt that there was a too much Jack Welch hero-worship, but generally, the information is sound. If you don’t have dreams of Fortune 500 upper management (I actually did, until I saw it up close), there’s still a lot of good info to be gained here.

Lane write conversationally, with a lot of interesting anecdotes. It’s a quick, easy and largely useful read.