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Managing in the Gray: Five Timeless Questions for Resolving Your Toughest Problems at Work
Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.

Retail Price: $35.00
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Format: Hardcover, 208pp.
ISBN: 9781633691742
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication Date: September 6, 2016

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

How to Resolve the Really Hard Problems

Every manager makes tough calls—it comes with the job. And the hardest decisions are the “gray areas”—situations where you and your team have worked hard to find an answer, you’ve done the best analysis you can, and you still don’t know what to do. But you have to make a decision. You have to choose, commit, act, and live with the consequences and persuade others to follow your lead. Gray areas test your skills as a manager, your judgment, and even your humanity. How do you get these decisions right?

In Managing in the Gray, Joseph Badaracco offers a powerful, practical, and even radical way to resolve these problems. Picking up where conventional tools of analysis leave off, this book provides tools for judgment in the form of five revealing questions. Asking yourself these five questions provides a simple yet profound way to broaden your thinking, sharpen your judgment, and develop a fresh perspective. What makes these questions so valuable is that they have truly stood the test of time—they’ve guided countless men and women, across many centuries and cultures, to resolve the hardest questions of work, responsibility, and life.

You can use the five-question framework on your own or with others on your team to help you cut through complexities, understand critical trade-offs, and develop workable solutions for even the grayest issues.


“This wonderful book is a graduate course in the science of thinking. It is rigorous and enjoyable.”
—Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School; author, The Innovator’s Dilemma and How Will You Measure Your Life?

“Anyone will learn from the critical questions and useful tools of deliberation and judgment revealed in Managing in the Gray.”
—Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“Badaracco advises managers on not just how to think about vexing problems, but also how to fix them.”
—Debora Spar, President, Barnard College

“All business leaders, whatever their managerial problems, will find much to stimulate their thinking in this book.”
—Kazuhiro Tsuga, President, Panasonic

“Managing in the Gray provides a practical, nuanced, and comprehensive framework to grapple with the toughest questions of life and business.”
—Kevin Sharer, former Chairman and CEO, Amgen; Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School

“Badaracco provides a useful and profound guide to dealing with problems that fall into gray areas. Interesting, practical, and compelling.”
—Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cross

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About the Author

Joseph L. Badaracco is the John Shad Professor of Business Ethics at Harvard Business School, where he has taught courses on leadership, strategy, corporate responsibility, and management in the school's MBA and executive programs. His books on these subjects include Defining Moments and the New York Times bestseller Leading Quietly.

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