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Adam’s Curse

Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.

—Mark Twain

In June 2012, shortly after I told Jim Citrin he was crazy but before I was invited to become the next CEO of Best Buy, I went to a Best Buy store in Edina, a suburb of Minneapolis. Being a mystery shopper was part of my due diligence on the company. There is no better way to take the temperature of an ailing retailer than to visit a store and buy something.

As soon as I walked through the doors, I found myself in an uninspiring, dark, deserted cave. There were few shoppers. I wandered around the dusty aisles, left alone. I eventually came across three or four sales associates wearing the distinctive Best Buy blue shirts. They were busy talking to each other, uninterested ...

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