Good Boss, Bad Boss

Good Boss, Bad Boss

How to Be the Best-- and Learn From the Worst

Book - 2010
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Now with a new chapter that focuses on what great bosses really do. Dr. Sutton reveals new insights that he's learned since the writing of Good Boss, Bad Boss. Sutton adds revelatory thoughts about such legendary bosses as Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs, A.G. Lafley, and many more, and how you can implement their techniques.
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.

Publisher: New York : Business Plus, c2010
ISBN: 9780446556088
Branch Call Number: 658.409 SUT
Characteristics: viii, 308 p. ; 22 cm


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Dale A Youngman
Jun 05, 2015

Good insights on self-awareness and treating others with dignity and respect. Paragraphs are annoyingly long but good content and examples.

Mar 23, 2012

Never met any of the bosses he projects as destroyers, but liked his one reference of how one fellow actually had the cojones to approach his boss and tell his to his face. Maybe more should face their rubicon. Good read, lots of examples. Lucky me have met some good people as bosses; and lucky me to have treated those managed well.
Website for the book is:

and its worth the visit.

Nov 16, 2011

Bob Sutton has again written a very practical, human book about how to be a better manager. He gives many real-world examples of both how bad managers can hurt their companies and how good managers can help. He demonstrates, among many other things, that there is a price to be paid for allowing a toxic work environment to fester. He provides a list to enable readers to test whether they themselves have more traits of a good or a bad boss.

While the focus of this book is on the private sector, Sutton's work also applies to the public sector. Ottawa would be a much happier and productive city if more people in government read his work. A must-read if you work in any large organization. Sutton supplements the book on his blog, , which includes links to videos of him giving talks based on themes taken from his books.

Aug 09, 2011

Not a bad book on bosses / leadership. Written in a very light, readable style and not at all academic, although there are lots of references to relevant research. You should check out the scales derived from his books, that you can easily find online. The "Boss Reality Assessment Survey System (BRASS)" and "Asshole Rating Self-Exam (ARSE)" - very clever!

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