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The Corporate Menagerie
Jim Milligan, Author
Just like with summiting Mount Everest, your career is a lifetime achievement that needs preparation, guidance, and the necessary tools to succeed. Author Jim Milligan’s book, The Corporate Menagerie: Office Predators on Parade, lays out how to recognize the following: •\tHealthy leaders vs. Toxic leaders •\tHealthy companies vs. Toxic companies •\tHealthy coworkers vs. Toxic coworkers •\tHealthy business practices vs. Toxic business practices Unlike other business books, The Corporate Menagerie is easy to follow and relatable, with an amusing, fact-based narrative followed by valuable and engaging insights, key takeaways, and a character/archetype analysis at the end of each chapter. If you've ever wondered, “What is a toxic work environment?” if your workplace has toxic leaders or business practices, or what factors cause a toxic business, then this book will give you the tools to identify these components. If you’re looking for a new job or want to get out of a toxic workplace, you’ll be guided into better understanding the critical aspects of a healthy company as well as knowing the red flags of a toxic workplace to look for as you assess a new position. Whether you are just starting out in business, in the middle of your career, or retired with an unresolved understanding of your former workplace, The Corporate Menagerie will help arm you with every advantage and resource to ensure your journey goes as smoothly as possible.
Milligan’s biting-but-inspirational debut blends insights about healthy leadership and management styles with a fable of corporate America. The narrative centers on three LED manufacturing companies that bid for the chance to lead the charge on a $30 million lighting project in the Midwest, a scenario that Milligan uses to offer a detailed taxonomy of personality types Milligan has encountered during his three decades in corporate life. Drawing on a background in psychology, Milligan also breaks down the motivations and common behaviors of each type (Coach, Pacesetter, Narcissist), all represented by different characters in the fictional companies. The Sociopath cultivates a “highly toxic” culture and “to calm his nerves and justify future carnage” tells himself this: The “company would have had a completely different outcome if only they had all performed as he had demanded."

Milligan dubs employees and leaders of the first company, General Light, “Corporate Savages,” while Technical Illuminations and City Public Power are “A Civilized Culture” and “The Emotionally Intelligent.” While the use of savage-civilized language is off putting, Milligan’s careful and often amusing descriptions of the businesses and their interactions with one another do well to illustrate the functional and behavioral differences between toxic and healthy companies. A clear dichotomy is set up between the money-grabbing, emotionally abusive, Machiavellian business on one side and the collaborative, compassionate, and fiscally responsible company on the other.

Readers with experience in the corporate world at every level will recognize these professional personalities and even see themselves in many of them, and while The Corporate Menagerie offers a clear-eyed dramatis personae introducing the kind of people readers are likely to meet, plus a survey of familiar and preventable workplace culture problems, it also shows readers how they deserve to be treated and the kind of behavior they shouldn’t tolerate in their professional lives. Professionals looking for a cohesive, accessible guide to understanding personalities at work will find Milligan’s refreshing debut useful.

Takeaway: A field guide to corporate personalities—and leading a healthy company

Comparable Titles: Michael O’Neill et. al’s The Healthy Workplace Nudge, Susan Hetrick’s Toxic Organizational Cultures and Leadership.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A