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First, Let’s Get Rid of All the Bosses

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First, Let’s Get Rid of All the Bosses

A radical experiment at Zappos to end the office workplace as we know it

New Republic,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Managers can stay at Zappos – but only if they stop managing.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Engaging


In 2015, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh announced a radical measure: As part of the firm’s endeavor to become a “Holacractic” – that is management-less – organization, it would no longer have “people managers.” Staffers could embrace the self-management philosophy or leave. Roger D. Hodge, national editor at the online publication The Intercept, mingled among Zappos employees and presents their reactions to the announcement. He also explains Holacracy’s philosophy and guiding principles, as well as the character traits of the unconventional CEO who drove the decision to enforce self-management. getAbstract recommends this read to any manager curious about the pain and enthusiasm that accompanies radical change.


Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh lives, socializes and holds business meetings in a luxury trailer park in downtown Las Vegas. His attire and demeanor are casual, his style of leadership is unorthodox, and the culture at Zappos deliberately “wacky.” Around 2012, Hsieh began introducing the “Holacracy” management system. Its basic tenet is that people’s creativity can’t thrive within traditional management structures. In a Holacratic organization, people don’t have functions, but instead take on various “roles.” They belong to different “...

About the Author

Roger D. Hodge is the national editor at The Intercept and the author of The Mendacity of Hope.

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