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Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best. and Learn from the Worst Hardcover – September 7, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Want to be a better boss? Unaware that you're a terrible one? Sutton (The No Asshole Rule) is here to help. The cost of callous and cruel superiors is considerable: employees with an abusive boss are more likely to work slowly, make deliberate errors, and even suffer heart attacks. With examples from such diverse workplaces as Pixar and Anchor Steam brewery, Sutton reveals how the best bosses take diverse and intertwined steps to create effective and humane workplaces, and offers tips on taking control, getting and giving credit appropriately, taking responsibility, staying in tune with employees, and squelching your potential inner jerk. Using real-life examples and insight gleaned from 30 years of experience as a manager, Sutton teaches his readers to become the boss employees enthusiastically want to work for. This entertaining, satisfying guide is a wakeup call for bosses everywhere--and a survival guide for those who work for them. (Sept.) (c)
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I loved this book - immediately my favorite business book. There are so many great principles and ideas to live up to, backed up by real data - it should be every boss' responsibility to read and understand it.―John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla Corporation, producer of the Firefox web browser
Good Boss, Bad Boss does a wonderful job of challenging conventional wisdom while outlining a clear and compelling rationale for thinking differently. From Sutton's useful steps for getting "in tune" with what it feels like to work for you, to evidence that eliminating the negative is more powerful than accentuating the positive, to the importance of demonstrating confidence with the admission that you're not always right. Good Boss, Bad Boss teaches the art and the science of practical leadership for the 21st century. I would consider it a must-read for anyone looking to improve their impact and accelerate their desired outcomes.―Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit
This book is the personal coach that every boss deserves: warm, smart, and freakishly good at translating scientific research into practical tips that will help keep you at the top of your game.―Chip & Dan Heath, authors of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
We are damned lucky to have Bob Sutton. While his every word is backed up by significant research, he writes in simple sentences that make enormous sense. Typical in this book, Sutton's little chart in Chapter 3, 'Smart Versus Wise Bosses,' is worth, all by itself, 100 times the price of admission. Good Boss, Bad Boss is as good as it gets.―Tom Peters, author of The Little Big Things and co-author of In Search of Excellence
It has been damn near impossible to find consistently good and objective insight and analysis from business thought leaders. But Robert I. Sutton, a professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford and the Stanford Institute of Design (where we have overlapped), is an exception. His new book, out now, is his best to date. Good Boss, Bad Boss is food for thought for managers and leaders in organizations large and small. It is packed with insight, lists of "how to" suggestions, and questions for bosses to ask themselves.―Reuters
Top customer reviews
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As a recovering corporate type who now consults on organizational and leaderhship issues I encounter the grim realities that Bob captures powerfully on a daily basis. Bob nails the rise in incredibly bad behavior on the part of (usually) well-intended but flat-out over-worked senior leaders. We are pounding ourselves and our people so hard for short term results of any kind that we have forgotten how to get the best out of them. We have never needed peak levels of creativity, engagement, and risk-taking by our very best people. But what do we do? We unwittingly create toxic cultures of fear and risk aversion and when it doesn't work out or our best people bail we look everywhere but into the mirror to find culpability.
Most of my clients are getting this as a gift (though they claim they don't have time to read). This smart, wry, and witty indictment is MOST required for those who profess they don't have time to read anything. And it's not just another guy talking about the problems. It's all about solutions. If you pick one book to read as you think about your business and talent challenges in 2011, THIS is one you will be glad to own.
Now that I look back, I remember seeing books akin to this one on her desk or bookshelf. Managers in the making, pick up this book!
What's refreshing in these authentic and often humorous pages is that the solutions are not formulas. Being a good boss requires a myriad of wise "little ways" to eke out improvements, and a very big one, being a decent person. We learn the importance of Lasorda's Law, how George Washington used an aura of confidence "to learn on the job," and how a NASCAR pit crew manager innovated to turn saved seconds into victories.
Sutton tells it like it is, and it's worth the price of admission just to find out the name of the Hollywood Producer Jerk who ejected his assistant onto the side of a freeway for the crime of looking at him in the rear view mirror, and to learn the critical lessons of a chapter entitled "Squelch Your Inner Bosshole."
Sutton knows more about the thin line between a good or bad boss, and understands it's a daily human skirmish, less about meeting goals and quarterly numbers and more about understanding our need to produce, create, share and be appreciated. But you won't find happy talk here. Some of my favorite stories are inside gems about how cleverly orchestrated conflict delivers results, how Brad Bird of Pixar sought out "malcontents" to produce the hit movie "The Incredibles," or how the Senior Editor of The Onion maintains creativity every week in a 3-day brainstorm.
Leave your novel at home and put this valuable book in a visible spot at your cube or on your desk. It's bound to be the subject of conversation. Who knows, your boss may even thank you.