As an undergraduate, Tom Tribone was exposed to the research of psychologist Frederick Herzberg at Case Western Reserve University, where Herzberg served as a professor. Partly based on these findings and his own experience, Tribone developed a unique, people-centered management style that has been written about by authors such as Robert H. Waterman Jr. (the co-author of one of the most influential business books ever written, In Search of Excellence). In his book, What America Does Right Waterman has written of Tribone: "But Tom Tribone is one of those people who resist the status quo." In the book, Tribone's ideas were summarized in the title of a chapter called "Everyone a Leader" in which Waterman described some of Tribone's management concepts. One example related how, while leading a unionized manufacturing plant early in his career, Mr. Tribone materially increased manufacturing capability and employee satisfaction through a new combination of specific guidance and light-handed supervision. In Robert M. Grant's case study, "AES Corporation: Rewriting the Rules of Management," Grant relayed Tom Tribone's ideas on the subject of teams and how they can be, in Tribone's words, "a natural way to get big things done while preserving the dignity of each person."
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