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Sizing up a Steinbrenner on the Job Search

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner leaves a storied legacy of team accomplishments as well as a notorious trail of managers he hired and fired since taking over the franchise in 1973. His aggressive relationships with 15 different managers included hiring and firing Billy Martin five times between 1975 and 1988. That stormy 13-year span is almost identical to the 12 uninterrupted years Joe Torre spent managing up to Steinbrenner between 1995 and 2007.

How can you evaluate the kind of boss you'll potentially be working for when you come in for an interview?

  • Evaluate the corporate culture. In "How to Assess the Corporate Culture of a New Job," Randi Bussin advises candidates to ask lots of questions (such as "What three words or phrases would you use to describe the company/department culture?") and make sure to spend time in the workplace before accepting any offer.
  • Play to your strengths. In "Know Your Greatest Strengths," M.J. Ryan counsels job seekers to determine whether their thinking is more analytic, procedural, relational or innovative, then to make sure they're matching those strengths to a workplace that will appreciate them.
  • Quit with class. Sometimes you've just got to make a move. But as Lee E. Miller writes in "Resign with Class," a dignified exit that doesn't leave your team hanging can be even more important to your career than a running start.
Choose your path and your boss carefully. In the words of former Steinbrenner employee Yogi Berra, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going because you might not get there."
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