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Posted on September 28th, 2012, by

In this paper we are going to discuss the well-known book by Carly Fiorina: Tough Choices. The book presents several stories related to business life. One of the most captivating stories is the one, where the main heroin feels herself redundant as a manager for competent AT&T engineers. At the beginning she founds herself in a complete chaos and decides to make a full review of billing records and papers.

Finally, when she found the solution for the problem, it turns out that she was able to save sufficient amount of money for the company.

This example is actually the reflection of the irony, that mid-level leadership can successfully contribute to enormous changes in a company. Also she is able to make important management conclusions for herself, like for example, that trust is very important for business.

During Fiorina’s studies at MIT’s Sloan school she meets CEOs rather closely and she makes the conclusion, that Just like people everywhere, some were good at their jobs; some weren’t. “Some got to the top after a lifetime of preparation; others still seemed surprised they were there. Some practiced intimidation; some were engaging. Mostly the interactions took the mystery out of the CEO (Carly, 66).

Fiorina realizes, that she could also be one of them, and she is able to learn how to split problems into smaller ones and how to solve them.

Her approach is based on focusing on people results, which is a mixture of business practice and psychology. She comes to the important conclusion, that even if people intellectually understand, that a problem can be solved, very often there is emotional limitation, which hinders positive results.

Another very important issue in business sexism is also studied by the main heroin. Her attitude to the problem she put in one sentence, when describing the crowning for the Most Powerful Woman in Business by Fortune I didn’t want to talk about being a woman in business. I wanted to talk about business. (Carly, 258).

Fiorina is not directly attacking the attitude towards women in business, she just presents some examples of male and female differences and concludes, that there are always 20 minutes to show the audience, that the speaker exactly knows what he is speaking about and that Life isn’t always fair, and it is different for women than for men. (Carly, 297). The main irony of the situation was, that not sexism was the reason of separation from others, but the fact, that she became celebrity. Immediately Fiorina was labeled with such characteristics as cold and remote business woman.

In the second part of the book, readers may notice that Fiorina’s narration becomes not so bright any more. She started to work for HP and she writes, that the best about HP was its people, whom she really liked, but there are not many examples of them. Somehow the fact, that a woman from sales was taken to engineering-based company in order to make changes seems not logical. Fiorina finds her own explanation of this fact, stating, that the board that chose her, was dysfunctional.

Overall, in this paper we made very brief analysis of the main themes and problems, discussed in the book by Carly Fiorina: Tough Choices.

Due to its originality of thought and direct approaches the book would be interesting for various categories of people, who are engaged in business and even for those, who are not, like psychologists for example.

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