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Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know Hardcover – June 5, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Jill Geisler has an uncanny ability to unravel the most complicated workplace problems and come up with creative solutions to resolve them."

---Bob Schieffer, CBS News

"Geisler, head of the Poynter Institute's leadership and management faculty and voice of the popular podcast What Great Bosses Know, has distilled years of management experience and study into this practical step-by-step guide to improving leadership skills. Covering topics including types of power, how to give and receive constructive feedback, coaching versus fixing, self-awareness and self-management, Geisler provides useful quizzes and assessments to help the reader translate the concepts into personal learning. This positive, useful work is sure to be a go-to manual for those new to management."

---Publishers Weekly

"Want to be a Great Boss? Then read WORK HAPPY, which explains with detailed work plans and assessment tools how to create a great work environment that gets results. Get one book for yourself---and another for your boss too. You'll both be happier for it!"

---Charlene Li, author, Open Leadership, and co-author, Groundswell

"Jill Geisler's writing mirrors her compelling workshops. WORK HAPPY is a smart and substantive book that offers meaningful, practical advice to leaders at all levels in any organization."

---Robert M. Steele, Ph.D., director, Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, DePauw University

"WORK HAPPY is an accessible, useful encyclopedia of managerial guidance artfully drawn from Jill Geisler's years as a master boss, learner, teacher, and coach. I just wish she had written it forty years ago....would have saved me lots of angst."

---Marty Linsky, Cambridge Leadership Associates, and faculty, Harvard Kennedy School

"Simply put, this book is a gift. A gift to any young manager in a new stretch assignment. A gift to any senior executive seeking to inspire a workforce. A gift to anyone driven to learn how to become a better leader. Jill Geisler's intelligence and warmth, captured within these pages, offers the reader an indispensable blend of best practices and comforting thoughts. She has created a safe place to think about becoming a better boss---which makes her something of a gift, too."

---Robert King, senior vice president, ESPN

"Want to love your job and reap the rewards of a productive staff? The secrets to achieve that are found in the pages of WORK HAPPY, as Jill Geisler challenges everything you know to manage yourself in order to lead others to success."

---Susana Schuler, vice president of news, Raycom Media

"Jill has a talent for making great leadership seem slap-your-forehead simple. That's because her work in WORK HAPPY sits atop mountainous research and real-life experience that has been honed and scrutinized by some of the most exacting leaders around. The result is practical, rock-solid advice that you're ready to act on before she's done talking."

---Keith Woods, vice president, NPR

"In a crisp, clear, upbeat style, Geisler cracks the code for what it takes to lead and to manage, even in times of change. Her experience as a leader, a coach, and a trainer of leaders comes through on every page. If you face the complex challenge of being your best as a leader and manager, WORK HAPPY puts a management guru by your side."

---Peggy Holman, author, Engaging Emergence

About the Author

Jill Geisler heads the leadership and management faculty of the Poynter Institute. She teaches, writes and consults on critical issues for leaders and counts among her clients The Boston Globe, CNN, and the Washington Post. Jill holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin a master's in leadership studies from Duquesne University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455507431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455507436
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

If you want to learn the secrets of being a great leader, ask Jill Geisler.

Jill guides managers - from the novice to the veteran - toward success. She holds the inaugural Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago. From 1998-2105, she guided the leadership programs at the Poynter Institute.

She designs and delivers leadership and management programs for scores of organizations in the U.S. and abroad and is in demand as a speaker on leadership issues, ethics, change management and the status of women in leadership. She's known for the humanity and humor she brings to her work.

Jill writes a monthly management column for the Columbia Journalism Review. Her "What Great Bosses Know" podcasts on iTunes U have been downloaded millions of times, according to Apple.

Among her many teaching and coaching clients are NPR, The Associated Press, The American Society of News Editors, the Radio-TV Digital News Association, and newspapers and TV stations large and small, but her reach extends far beyond media organizations. She also guides leaders in medicine, law, education, technology and non-profits.

Jill holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in Leadership and Liberal Studies from Duquesne University.

In recognition of her lifetime contributions to journalism, the University of Wisconsin honored her with its "Distinguished Service to Journalism" award, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association named her to its Hall of Fame, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences inducted her into its prestigious Silver Circle.

Jill launched her leadership teaching career after a 26-years in broadcast journalism and several walls full of national and local journalism honors. She was a reporter and anchor who became one of the country's first women to serve as news director of a major market network affiliate TV station.

She lives in Bayside, Wisconsin, is married and the mother of two terrific sons.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Will Pry on June 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Your work life is easier than ever these days, so you probably don't need this book. Also, you are an amazing boss whose team members drool in anticipation of your every witty word, so you don't need this book. And since your work-life harmony is perfect, you just don't need this book.

But if you're self-aware enough to recognize that you aren't perfect and your leadership skills need care and feeding, do yourself a favor: Buy this book, read it, think about it, read it again, then do what it says. And then later on, like in a month or two, read it again, slower.

Jill Geisler's advice belongs chiseled in a stone tablet and delivered to the masses by a Heston-like figure, but for now, this edition will do.

She is adept at holding a mirror in front of your managerial face and helping you fix your problems in a non-judgmental way. Dealing with different types of personalities, handling difficult conversations, knowing the difference between coaching and preaching (or worse, taking over): All of these managerial qualities are presented in an approachable way.

Her strategies help people become more effective human beings. Her advice is candid, but not glib. Forceful, but not harsh. And most important: It is empowering.

You need to read this book. And if you think you don't, my friend, you are the one who needs to read it the most.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Roy Peter Clark on May 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My colleague Jill Geisler has written her first book, and it's a humdinger: "Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know." At first, I was puzzled by the title. So few people express happiness in their work that it seemed to espouse a quixotic,almost impossible dream. But that's the point, isn't it? Whatever endeavor we choose -- or chooses us -- there is a direct connection between our productivity and our emotional satisfaction on the job.
The subtitle suggests that it will be a great boss who creates the conditions for a productive and satisfying work life, with this caveat: Some of the unhappiest workers we know bear the title of boss, and their problems, we have all learned the hard way, flow downhill and become our problems.
Leadership, Geisler teaches us, is not the work of bosses alone. Each of us carries some burden of leadership, which, when embraced and practiced, can turn into something powerful, even joyful.
Jill Geisler brings long experience as a media leader to the writing of this book. Her strategies have been field tested and shared widely through her teaching at the Poynter Institute and through her iTunesU podcasts, which have been downloaded in the millions. Anyone who aspires to a leadership position of any kind at any organization should read this book and put its advice to work -- today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mre Privett on June 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I knew from the moment that I opened this book that I was in a for treat.
Jill has Podcasts available on iTunes U of which I have been an avid listener the past few weeks. When she disclosed the release of her book, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Based on research from credible scientists and collated from Jill's personal experience as a teacher, learner, coach. This book comes together in a way that truly enriches your life. Im only on Chapter 4 and I already feel very passionately about it.

Jill has a brilliantly adept way in teaching you the fundamentals to how great leaders are made; but the beauty lies in the language used to describe and explain these terms. There are many of what I like to call "One liners" that resonate with you and just make sense. Plus the added bonus of interspersed 'pop-quizs';if you like, that give you time to reflect on yourself and help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Jills knowledge in leadership really shines through and you can't help but feel like the greatest support to your development is right between your hands.

No doubt Jills background as a News Room Director, a Senior member of the faculty at the Poynter institute and her MA in Leadership Skills have attributed to this masterpiece of work.

A must have for the Self-Aware individual who is looking to reaffirm or re-learn what they thought they knew. This book is really going to empower me to engage my colleagues and undoubtedly develop myself (and hopefully others) into becoming the best in our roles!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Evita Yuan on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very thankful to stumble upon Jill Geisler's podcasts about "Work Happy; What Great Bosses Know" because she has an amazing way of putting every leadership scenario into a common sense approach. When I heard that she was writing a book I was really excited and knew I had to get it! I was very happy to be able to get it on my Kindle. Just so you know this is the first review I've ever written on Amazon and I've bought a lot of books! That's how much I think you should read this book! Trust me your team will be grateful. I love her leadership podcasts and I love the book as much, it's like a compilation of all her podcasts and it's great to have in my leadership toolbox. She has a way of relating to bosses and leaders like no one I've ever known and her advice is very helpful. Her book is like having a personal leadership mentor at your fingertips.
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