If you are a boss who wants to do great work, what can you do about it? Good Boss, Bad Boss is devoted to answering that question. Stanford Professor Robert Sutton weaves together the best psychological and management research with compelling stories and cases to reveal the mindset and moves of the best (and worst) bosses. This book was inspired by the deluge of emails, research, phone calls, and conversations that Dr. Sutton experienced after publishing his blockbuster bestseller The No Asshole Rule. He realized that most of these stories and studies swirled around a central figure in every workplace: THE BOSS. These heart-breaking, inspiring, and sometimes funny stories taught Sutton that most bosses - and their followers - wanted a lot more than just a jerk-free workplace. They aspired to become (or work for) an all-around great boss, somebody with the skill and grit to inspire superior work, commitment, and dignity among their charges.
As Dr. Sutton digs into the nitty-gritty of what the best (and worst) bosses do, a theme runs throughout Good Boss, Bad Boss - which brings together the diverse lessons and is a hallmark of great bosses: They work doggedly to "stay in tune" with how their followers (and superiors, peers, and customers too) react to what they say and do. The best bosses are acutely aware that their success depends on having the self-awareness to control their moods and moves, to accurately interpret their impact on others, and to make adjustments on the fly that continuously spark effort, dignity, and pride among their people.
Everyone has a horror story about "workplace jerks," and Robert Sutton, whose previous book was The No Asshole Role, has heard plenty. Now the Stanford professor is back with a sequel that provides a well-researched and thorough examination of the boss from hell, complete with numerous strategies for avoiding turning into a "bosshole" yourself. Citing studies, real-life experiences, and often shocking case studies, Sutton clearly demonstrates the devastating impact an abusive boss can have on the workplace. Sutton relays that "A bad boss decreases your chances of getting a heart attack" and, according to research, that "75 percent of the workplace reports that their immediate supervisor is the most stressful part of their jobs." Sutton includes examples of good bosses and behaviors conducive to motivating and supporting staff in sidebars like "11 Commandments for Wise Bosses," "Smart People Tricks" and "Bosshole Busters: 11 Tips for Squelching Your Inner Jerk." The book is aimed squarely at wannabe bosses, and its thrust is the development of good leadership skills, which some readers may find limiting.
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