James A. Autry
Poet, lecturer, and management
consultant James A. Autry was born March 8, 1933, in Memphis, Tennessee,
but he grew up in Benton County, Mississippi, and in 1955 received
a B.A. degree in journalism from the University
of Mississippi, where he was later named a Distinguished Alumnus
and elected to the Alumni Hall of Fame. A former president of the
Meredith Corporations Magazine Group, publisher of such magazines
as Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies Home Journal, and
Successful Farming, he took an early retirement in 1991 to
focus more on his present career as speaker and management consultant.
Autry has published ten books,
two of which are volumes of poetry. His first, Nights under a
Tin Roof, was published by the Yoknapatawpha
Press in 1983. That was followed in 1989 with Life after
Mississippi. In 1991, the Kentucky Poetry Review published
a special issue devoted to Autrys poetry, and he received
national prominence as one of the poets featured on Bill Moyers special series The Power of the Word on PBS.
Nonfiction books by Autry include
Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership (1991), which
helped to establish a new genre of management and leadership books
dealing with more than standard business-school teachings; Life
and Work: A Managers Search for Meaning, which uses essays,
poetry, and letters to his children as a means of focusing on the
challenges faced by business managers; and Confessions of an
Accidental Businessman: It Takes a Lifetime to Find Wisdom (1996),
a blend of candid autobiography and practical and realistic lessons
in management and leadership.
His most recent books are The Book of Hard Choices: How to Make the Right Decisions at Work and Keep Your Self-Respect (2006), which he co-wrote with Peter Roy, and Looking Around for God: The Oddly Reverent Observations of an Unconventional Christian (2007).
He and his wife, Sally Pederson (who until recently was lieutenant governor of Iowa), live in Des Moines, Iowa.
John B. Padgett
Article updated 3 Aug. 2007
Links & Info
books of poetry, including his first, Nights Under a
Tin Roof, were both published by the Yoknapatawpha
Autry has a web
site where you can find out more about both his written
work and his business consultation work.
- Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership. New
York: Morrow, 1991.
- Life and Work: A Managers Search for Meaning.
New York: Morrow, 1994.
- Confessions of an Accidental Businessman: It Takes a Lifetime
to Learn Wisdom. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers,
- (with Stephen Mitchell) Real Power: Lessons for Business
from the Tao Te Ching. New York: Putnam, 1998.
- The Servant Leader: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop
Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance. New York:
- The Spirit of Retirement: Creating a Life of Meaning and
Personal Growth. New York: Prima, 2002.
- (with Peter Roy) The Book of Hard Choices: How to Make the Right Decisions at Work and Keep Your Self-Respect. New York: Broadway Books, 2006.
- Looking Around for God: The Oddly Reverent Observations of an Unconventional Christian. Macon, Ga.: Smyth & Helwys, 2007.
- Nights Under a Tin Roof: Recollections of a Southern Boyhood.
Introduction by John Mack Carter. Oxford, MS: Yoknapatawpha Press,
- Life After Mississippi. Introduction by Willie
Morris. Oxford, MS: Yoknapatawpha Press, 1989.
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