HOW TO MAKE A BUCK AND STILL BE A DECENT HUMAN BEING by Richard C. Rose

HOW TO MAKE A BUCK AND STILL BE A DECENT HUMAN BEING

A Week with Rick Rose at Dataflex
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Journalist Garrett's fly-on-the-wall appreciation of what goes on at Rose's Dataflex company, which for all the deference paid her nominal coauthor's charismatic management style affords some insights into how a mid-sized firm can be run for fun as well as profit. In 1984, the founder of New Jersey-based Dataflex (a reseller of computer equipment made by IBM and others) recruited Rose to rescue his foundering enterprise. By almost any standard, the designated savior engineered an impressive turnaround, making the service-oriented company one of the fastest-growing small businesses in the US. Not too surprisingly, then, Garrett (Money, Inc., etc.) focuses on how Rose contrives to keep Dataflex upwardly mobile through an offbeat combination of cajolery, corporate rituals, crack-of-dawn meetings, peer rankings, personal recognition, unexpected rewards, vision, and other techniques designed to foster togetherness. She does so by reporting and commenting on how Rose spent each day in a putatively typical workweek--an approach that yields a modestly suspenseful narrative and that also gives the 45-year-old CEO a chance to offer summary pronouncements at natural stopping points. On the downside, the text is rife with such sycophantic bushwa as: ``Rick Rose bolts out of the conference room like a shot. He strides quickly down the hallway leading to his office. His head is slightly ahead of his body as he walks, his jaw jutting forward. He rolls on the balls of his feet and bounces slightly--a study of motion and purpose.'' Nor do Rose's frequently pretentious pronouncements always hit their mark--e.g., ``Treat people as partners. The secret is to make sure they don't have the same skill set you do, because then you're just asking for conflict.'' Cavils apart: an informative behind-the-scenes briefing on what makes an inspirational leader and his competitive concern tick. (B&w photographs--16 pp.--not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 1992
ISBN: 0-88730-584-9
Page count: 288pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1992