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The Truth About Getting the Best from People, Second Edition by Martha I. Finney

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Truth 17. Great leaders make their people cry

A couple of years ago, the chairman of Rackspace, a fast-growing Web hosting company that’s regularly on Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For list, asked me to spend 2 weeks interviewing its employees who deeply love their work. The main question: What makes you proud to be a “Racker?”

In one interview, the CEO described a time when he felt especially proud of his people. It was during an emergency years ago when, he said, everything they worked for over the previous 9 years was “on the razor’s edge.” A truck had crashed into their data center, threatening to destroy the physical plant.

As these things typically happen, it was at night. But it was “all hands on deck” for everyone, and the parking ...

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