Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tough Choices: A Memoir” as Want to Read:
Tough Choices: A Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tough Choices: A Memoir

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  960 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
Tough Choices: A Memoir
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Portfolio (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tough Choices, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tough Choices

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Antof9
The first half of this book is totally inspiring. It's a great book on leadership, and one that anyone in business should read. It actually made me want to do my job better.

However, the second half of this book felt like "Carly's Defense". It seemed like she really felt the need to tell her side, and this book is the vehicle for it. It wasn't bad, per se, but it didn't go with the first half, and in some ways, it took away from the first half. It seemed awfully defensive, and wasn't so much abou
...more
Brian Mcquaig
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please note I read the abridged audio version of this book. I "read" this book because I was tired of hearing, "I know someone at HP and they hate her because she ruined the company..." blah, blah, blah. ...when it was more than obvious that the majority of people telling me this, 1. Didn't know anyone from HP and 2. They were talking out of their ass...not knowing ANY relevant details of the subject at hand. I find those kinds of people transparent as in finding aggrandizement of themselves in ...more
Lorna
Nov 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This woman is extraordinary. Her careers moves at lightning speed from a role as a secretary at a brokerage firm to CEO of HP. She also was one of the three people who spun off Lucent from AT&T, creating the logo, company identity and mission statement. She exhibits spectacular moral courage, ethical conviction, daring creativity and infectious charisma. Never would I have imagined adding to my list of personal heroes the CEO of a major corporation, but there you have it; she's been add ...more
Robert
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carly Fiorina wrote Tough Choices: A Memoir (2006), which I read in December 2015. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the contributions she made in the field in which I thrived for my entire early career – telecommunications. Both her stint at Lucent and Hewlett-Packard (HP) in leadership positions revealed important lessons many of us learned during the optimistic 1990s and subdued 2000s.

Unlike her father’s view that learning was not simply a way to make a living, learning was a goal in and o
...more
Laura
May 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in management, women working in male dominated fields
Recommended to Laura by: Adam
I know nothing about HP or management, but I really liked this book. Fiorini was the CEO of HP, and this is her autobiography, focused on her climb through the business world (from AT&T to Lucent to HP). There is a lot on management techniques and her personal philosophies on management and business, and this is interesting to read. I enjoyed the stories of how she overcame particular obstacles at work. What I really liked about it, though, was her frank depiction of the challenges for women ...more
Christian Engler
Having worked at a Cambridge based business school for a little over seven years as an administrative assistant, the story of Carly Fiorina really caught my interest, because I was curious about the gender dynamics and or biases in the business world, if indeed there really were and are any. But according to Fiorina's intepretative slant, there are. To a certain extent, I believe her; she was a controversal CEO, and in reading some of the reviews, there do seem to be some people who have an axe ...more
Nancy
This is an autobiography of the former CEO of HP. It chronicles her rise and fall from power. I could relate to a lot of it, of course with quite a few less zeroes in my case! ( I read elsewhere that Carly received $21 million in her HP severance agreement – 2.5 X her annual salary.) I agreed with much of Carly’s philosophy of business. The following quotes resonated with me, primarily in the context of my own situation.
“They (the Board) did not thank me and they did not say good-bye. They did n
...more
Jon
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2010
I really enjoyed this book. One of the best leadership and business books I have read and will likely re-read or at the very least borrow wisdom from. Carly's astuteness for business is unmatched. This was a rather quick read that focused on her career and her thoughts on leadership. I read this book to gain some insight into Carly to see if my vote would be her this coming election. She certainly now has it, but what I did not expect in this book and I actually appreciated the book did not go t ...more
Julie
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a confession to make. I am yet another Hewlett-Packard refugee. I was at HP when Carly Fiorina was CEO. Working on a design team that was almost all male, it was exhilerating to have a female CEO. But, like so many other HP employees, I felt that Carly was calculating and immune to the charm of "Bill and Dave" and the HP Way. I agreed with the sentiments of most of my co-workers that Carly Fiorina was a ...(rhymes with witch). Although I was no longer at HP when Carly was ousted, I cheere ...more
Michelle
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very inspiring. I would want to write a very long review, but if I wait to find the perfect words, it will never happen. So, the bottom line is that I feel rejuvenated. It have set myself my 5 and 10 year goals because of this book. I had never seriously considered management until now, and I owe it all to this book. I feel less intimidated by my own management because the book humanizes upper management.

My only issue is how she focuses on metrics as measurement of success (ie # of patents = inn
...more
Jo
Jul 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
This was really quite interesting, even though I know little about business and had no idea that she had ever led Hewlett Packard.It chronicles her rise (from a secretary to CEO of HP) and fall (the HP Board fired her) in business. She talks of how she learned management, and the obstacles she faced as a woman in a tech industry in her time and how she overcame them through focus on the work. There is a lot on management techniques and her personal philosophies on management and business, and th ...more
Lori
Feb 17, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the better business books I've read... up until the last third, when it became purely a defense of Carly's time at HP, filled with tons of unnecessary details that were boring unless you were reading it to understand her firing scandal. I'd higly recommend reading it up until she gets the job at HP, then stopping.
Mary
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-events
Thanks, Laura, for sharing this book! It is a great picture of a woman driven to the heights of corporate responsibility, with memorable assessments of what leadership consists of. I especially liked how she never once whined about the unique challenges of being a woman in this role, but she never sugar coats it either. I'll reread this book.
Sarah
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book fascinating but it is definitely not a page turner if you aren't interested in reading an in-depth story of a female CEO in the Valley. Lots of detail about leadership strategy and politics at Lucent and HP, which I loved reading!
Janet
Apr 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the audio book that was read by the author and really enjoyed it. It was like listening to "lessons learned" from a mentor.
Julie Salinas
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been out for a while, and was on the discount shelf when I picked it up. I was vaguely aware of Ms. Fiorina, and once in a while foray from my typical reading material into memoirs or biographies. Presently I am in a leadership class, so the subject of business was a plus. The style of the writing reminds me of how our leaders present their "profiles" during our quarterly meetings. She starts by telling us about herself, and the path that lead her to her leadership of HP. Perhaps m ...more
Mai Pham
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Sometimes the riskier the choice gives you a better opportunity to prove yourself to others, and you’ll always prove something important to yourself. You’ll know yourself and those you work with better.”

Love the first past but unfortunately loose my interest when it reaches the second-half.
Stuart H Crepea
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tough no nonsense professionals

Trial of women in business but truly more about a person with strong moral compass and her learning curve and Adventures up the
Corporate ladder
Barbara Gordon
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brave, courageous, strong woman. I had no idea all that was going on at HP.
Sacha
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first half of the book was interesting ...the second half was ok
Tim Butzen
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written. A highly valuable read for anyone working in a complex organization.
Diane Moore
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Respectable. Good insight.
Riley
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jared Oliva
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books of all time. There's a lot of wisdom to learn from someone of her caliber. I don't think this is a story that any newspaper periodical can do justice. Her career trajectory (first two-thirds) and running a multi-billion dollar enterprise (last one-third) is a complex tale to tell. She's honest, charming, and funny. There's a reason why Carly Fiorina led one of the largest IPOs in history (Lucent) and become the first female CEO of a Fortune 50 company.

Here are m
...more
Heather
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
I used this book to get to know Carly Fiorina before she had aspirations to be president. I felt she was very candid when writing about her successes and failures throughout her career and her voice throughout the book was very genuine. She is a person that does an enormous amount of research and isn't afraid to ask a lot of questions before diving into something. She takes the time to do self reflection before making tough choices. She is continually evaluating decisions based upon what is best ...more
Eric
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One must wonder in any memoir of the extent to which the author speaking of herself ends up hiding too much, revealing to little, or outright lying. I looked for that here, having engaged a colleague who railed at the idea of this woman being a potential presidential candidate. Having met her, once briefly, and listened to her precursor stump speech, his vehemence about her performance at H.P. set me back.

This memoir sounded to me very much like the "real Carly" - if any author can actually tel
...more
Malek
Aug 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those not aware, Carly Fiorina is the former CEO of HP (1998-2005)and one of the most famous CEO's in business. She had a significant media presence and was hailed by Fortune Magazine as "the most powerful woman in business". During her time at HP she encountered a lot of controversy, much of it tied to the Compaq/HP merger and the famous fight with HP founders' family members. Opinions vary dramatically on her legacy, with many claiming she transformed the company and rescued it from downwa ...more
Malin Friess
Carly Fiorina was a law school dropout who later become the CEO at Hewlett Packard. Growing up she received little support from her family entering a career in business. She never had children of her own (that topic was dismissed rather discretly) and did not comment on to how that may have affected her career. She cetainly faced challenges in the 90's as a female in business..such as other colleagues deliberatly scheduling a meeting at a strip club--hoping she would not attend and back down. Bu ...more
Taj Bortz
I read this book quite a while ago - probably close to the publish date. I knew nothing about business, very little experience working, and at the time I really liked the book. A couple things I found a little odd - her quick rise to the top seemed a lot like luck. She didn't seem to have a whole lot of business experience before she became a CEO. And her rise seems to have started with a funded trip through her MBA which a lot of people wouldn't have been able to afford (money or time). After t ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Work in Progress: Risking Failure, Surviving Success
  • The House Advantage: Playing the Odds to Win Big In Business
  • The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life
  • Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism Into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show
  • Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America
  • Disney's World: A Biography
  • Trotsky: Downfall Of A Revolutionary
  • Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least
  • The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR
  • Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World
  • The Flaw of Averages: Why We Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty
  • Six-Figure Freelancing
  • American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods
  • Business as Unusual
  • Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company
  • The Virgin Warrior: The Life and Death of Joan of Arc
  • Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls
16 followers
American Republican politician and former business executive.
Starting in 1980, Fiorina rose through the ranks to become an executive at AT&T and its equipment and technology spin-off, Lucent Technologies. As Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard (HP) from 1999 to 2005, she was the first woman to lead a top-20 company as ranked by Fortune magazine.
In 2002, Fiorina oversaw the biggest high
...more
More about Carly Fiorina

Nonfiction Deals

  • A Guide to the Present Moment
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Breaks of the Game
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt
    $12.74 $2.99
  • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Dry
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Measure of a Man
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
    $13.99 $2.99
  • 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Best Friends: The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Clara's War: One Girl's Story of Survival
    $8.49 $1.99
  • The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
    $17.48 $1.99
  • The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
    $12.49 $1.99
  • The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Scar Tissue
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Running with Scissors
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
    $9.99 $2.99
  • 1968: The Year That Rocked the World
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
    $9.99 $2.99
  • And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
    $22.95 $1.99
  • Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Egg and I
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More
    $12.74 $1.99
  • City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Just Another Kid
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Second World War
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
    $11.24 $1.99
  • Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism
    $13.99 $1.99
  • I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.)
    $13.24 $1.99
  • In the Beginning...Was the Command Line
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Toltec Art of Life and Death
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays
    $17.99 $2.99
  • Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It
    $9.49 $2.99
  • The Diva Rules: Ditch the Drama, Find Your Strength, and Sparkle Your Way to the Top
    $17.99 $2.99
  • A Brief History of Time
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922-1927
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Penguin Lessons
    $12.99 $1.99
  • What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive
    $12.99 $1.99
“Alignment and collaboration need not be fuzzy, ill-defined concepts for “let’s just all get along.” Effective teamwork is more than good manners and good will, although both help an organization function more effectively. Alignment results from shared goals. Collaboration results from shared measures of success.” 2 likes
“I need debate and dialogue with others to test my own thinking and to make a decision. I test others’ convictions or opinions by pushing on their arguments and seeing how strongly they will defend them. When challenged, do people shrink away from their own views, or do they stand behind them? When pressed, do people offer more data to support their position, or do they simply repeat the same things in a louder voice?” 1 likes
More quotes…