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Who's in the Room: How Great Leaders Structure and Manage the Teams Around Them

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Fascinating and insightful

    Bob captures the true essence of behind the scenes decision making in both public and private organizations. And, he does it in a manner that holds your interest and provokes reflections on your own experiences with strong plausible explanations. His writing style and intellectual analogies effectively bring the subject in clear view. His insight and experience, as one I have known for many years, reflects skills, experience, knowledge and personal character that I have grown to admire in Bob over his professional career. All come together in a very interesting read that will change your understanding of the decision making process. Truly a value adding worthwhile read.

    Michael Cooper, Managing Partner, Kincannon & Reed

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    If you manage a team at all you need to read this book. Clearly


    If you manage a team at all you need to read this book. Clearly targeted toward CEOs and their senior management teams, I think any team leader can learn a lot from Bob's book. He cuts through management theory and lays out a practical path for leaders and teams to get the most from each other. It is eye opening, frank, and illuminating. A must read for veterans of the boardroom and fledgling MBAs alike.

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    Bookful of Golden Nuggets on Decision Making

    The central premise of "Who's in the Room?" is that the most important decisions rarely get made in accordance with the organization chart -- and, that's not just okay, it's a good thing! While a bit counter-intuitive, I found author Bob Frisch's recent article on this subject in the Harvard Business Review so insightful that I immediately ordered the book. He rolls out a very persuasive argument that the CEO (or any decisionmaker) will get to a better decision if he or she relies on advice from an unofficial "kitchen cabinet," rather than the formal executive team (or committee) shown on the org chart.

    The kitchen cabinet can (and does) vary based on the decision being made, is trusted, is a smaller and more efficient group, and can operate outside the daily politics and baggage of the formal team structure. This frees up the formal team to tackle the issues that require and benefit most from cross-organizational input (eg, establishing a worldview, setting priorities, allocating resources and managing dependencies).

    The book is chockful of anecdotes that illustrate how decisions can be made effectively in organizations when the right people are in the room. Anyone who has ever spent time sitting through a dysfunctional discussion with the entire executive team (in which the wrong issues come up and the right ones never get aired), will appreciate the stories from the field and the lessons in decision-making that can be learned from this book. Highly recommend. A surprisingly interesting and fun read.

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