The Sophisticated Manager by Jack Litewka

“I had the privilege of having Jack as a manager and mentor during my years at Microsoft.  He was responsible at the time for the IT Pro audience marketing team.  When I think about Jack, I see first a great team leader who cared deeply about his team and beyond, who took the time to listen to and learn about his people, and understood how to inspire them. Jack's approach to work was both very strategic, yet practical, and his inclusive management style made for an amazing working environment where everyone's contributions were listened to and valued.”

—Angela Paraboni Viesse, Principal Consultant

“Jack is one of those rare commodities in life:  a man who can listen objectively and come up with intuitive ideas for one to consider when making life and career choices.”

—Rayman Khan, IT Support Consultant

“As a Direct Report of Jack at Microsoft, I can say he was the best manager I had (and I had a lot of them).  Attributes that made Jack a pleasure to work for were his honesty, integrity, listening skills, team-building skills, coaching skills, and ability to develop a clear vision, mission, and supporting goals for and with his teams.”

—Scott Smernis, Dealer Principal, Sound Harley-Davidson;

formerly, Director of Program Management at Microsoft Corporation

“Having Jack as my first manager when I relocated from Argentina to the United States was fundamental for the successful career I now have.  Jack is an extremely well-rounded manager who has mastered how to put people at the center of success.  He defined a clear vision and strategy, and implemented a plan to get there.”

—Gustavo Basualdo, Sr. Program Manager at a Fortune 500 company

“Jack was a calming voice in a shit-storm of insanity.”

—Stephanie Weeks, Program Manager, Technical Writer

"Jack’s mentorship played an important part of my pre-execution routine, when I needed help understanding the possible consequences of a decision, before I started acting on it.  The depth of his management experience allowed him to look at a situation with a rounder and more critical perspective than mine."

—Jacob Motola, Senior Project Manager, Sales Operations

“I had the honor to work with Jack when I was leading a strategy consulting team in Microsoft's Worldwide Services division.  Jack is one of the best and most effective people managers/leaders I've met – due to his incredible intellectual power, business acumen, and impeccable ethics.  Jack is strategic:  he genuinely cares about the bottom-line business results and the people involved in change management.  He understands them, empowers them, and makes sure his team is successful.”

—Beny Rubinstein, Digital Transformation Solution Sales Lead at a Fortune 500 company;

formerly, President & CEO, Acelera Partners

“Jack has been one of the most amazing managers of all times.  Our projects over the 3 years that we worked together had numerous 1.0 versions with plenty of ambiguity, chaos, and lack of clarity and direction.  Jack understood how to funnel the team through the noise to get us clarity and heading in a successful direction.  When I had the bright idea to patent one of the features our team had developed, Jack figured out how to maneuver through the numerous attorneys and mounds of paperwork to get us two patents.”

—Bella Acharya, Global Business Development at a Fortune 500 company

“I had the pleasure of working both with and for Jack in the early 2000’s at Microsoft.  It was a very challenging time in the company’s history, with turmoil from outside the company matched by turmoil within.  Mid-level management was often caught in the cross-fire, and Jack did an outstanding job keeping team cohesion and morale. One of Jack’s great qualities was transparency: no matter how bad things got, he didn’t sugar-coat matters and kept everyone focused on the important issues. As one of Jack’s direct reports, I learned a number of tools and techniques that I carry with me still.”

—Steve Murchie, CxO, Envision Technology Partners

“Jack taught me that quality work does not have to be perfect work.  Shipping something good is better than not shipping at all.  This wisdom is daily reflected upon as I lead my teams through tough situations and tight timelines.”

—Eric Sabetti, Director, UX and Product Management at a Fortune 500 company

“​Jack was my manager for 4 years.  Later, when I decided to move into management, Jack was the first person I turned to as a mentor.  I've learned so much from him, especially the importance of making sure the people on my team know how much their contributions are appreciated.  I learned from Jack that creating a culture that values honesty, inclusion, and collaboration puts a team in a great situation.  From the small acknowledgements to the most careful strategic decisions, Jack taught me to understand the importance of being a thoughtful manager.”

—Paulette McKay, Sr. Content Publishing Manager at a Fortune 500 company

“As a brand new second-line manager, I struggled with the right level of delegation, oversight, and direct touch that I should have with skip-level reports.  Jack was a great mentor during this time and helped me achieve a balance between oversight and meddling.”

—Ines Vargas, Director, Global Partner Services at a Fortune 500 company

“Jack has a unique management style that brings out people’s best.  It is an amazing ability to inspire and motivate his teams to deliver exceptional results.  He builds on each individual’s strengths, and fosters an environment where people collaborate to overcome business challenges.  I really appreciated how he gave his teams the right level of guidance and a great deal of autonomy to own their work.”

—Sassan Saedi, Vice President, at a Fortune 500 company;

formerly, Head, Channels and Partnerships for a start-up

“When I needed to talk over issues with someone who was objective – issues such as cross-team coordination, dicey interpersonal situations, business strategy, and career choices – Jack was my go-to person.  He offered sage advice as well as occasionally surprising, counter-intuitive advice – and was a valuable resource and mentor as I sorted through changing circumstances.”

—Ram Dixit, Sr. Director, at a Fortune 500 company

“Jack is truly interested in people’s backgrounds, perspectives and opinions.  Through this inquisitiveness and resulting wealth of knowledge he is capable of taking a diverse set of individuals and shaping them into a highly collaborative team able to take on the most complex problems and deliver high-quality solutions that transform organizations.  Above all Jack is a mentor able to bring out the best in people, and foster a culture of trust and friendship.”

—Remco Stroeken, Sr. Marketing Manager at a Fortune 500 company

“Jack’s leadership style was a powerful demonstration that you can be an effective manager while still being true to yourself.  That was a great managerial lesson for me.  He didn’t speak in platitudes or talk at you – he listened. He fostered a true spirit of two-way collaboration.  He was highly attuned to the individuals that made up his team and was able to tailor his approach to guide a diverse set of personalities while at the same time bringing them together as a cohesive unit.”

—Don Hall, Marketing Consultant; formerly, Director of Marketing at Microsoft

“If you are a new manager, then I believe that you will find Jack Litewka’s book to be extremely valuable.  Based on my experience working with Jack, you will discover that this book is packed with insights based on his leadership skills and experience gained from building high-performance local teams or multi-million dollar global teams from the ground up or managing turn-arounds in a variety of industries.”

—Eric Stathers, Managing Partner, Stathers & Associates LLC

“I knew of Jack's reputation before even joining his organization, and then I was lucky enough to actually report to him.  He has been my guide and mentor for many years.  I learned things from Jack that I still count on today.”

—Jane Dow, Sr. Technical Program Manager;

formerly, Sr. Group Site Manager for online businesses at Microsoft

“Jack's wise, insightful and RELEVANT counsel – honed through his experience being an entrepreneur, advisor to start-ups, and being a senior manager in a global tech mega-firm – brought us through the difficult days that every business, entrepreneur, and start-up encounters.  His patience, encouragement and desire to see us succeed were evident in his diplomatic and direct communication style.  He was a GODSEND to us!”

—Makedah Shartukar, Co-Founder & CEO, BiLD Corporation, and

Vivian Stone, Co-Founder & COO, BiLD Corporation


Out-of-the-Box Press

© 2016 Jack Litewka