About Me

Ithaca, New York
MWF, now officially 42, loves long walks on the beach and laughing with friends ... oh, wait. By day, I'm a mid-level university administrator reluctant to be more specific on a public forum. Nights and weekends, though, I'm a homebody with strong nerdist leanings. I'm never happier than when I'm chatting around the fire, playing board games, cooking up some pasta, and/or road-tripping with my family and friends. I studied psychology and then labor economics in school, and I work in higher education. From time to time I get smug, obsessive, or just plain boring about some combination of these topics, especially when inequality, parenting, or consumer culture are involved. You have been warned.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#49: Good Boss, Bad Boss

Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best ... and Learn From the Worst, by Robert Sutton (New York: Business Plus, 2010).

"Inspired by the cries for help and the success stories he received in response to his previous book, The No Asshole Rule, Sutton (management science, Stanford University) describes qualities of good and bad bosses, explains how to be a good boss, and gives advice on surviving workplace jerks. Bosses will learn how their words and actions affect others, the best and worst ways to take charge and make decisions, and when to be quiet and when to speak up. The author writes in an accessible style with a sense of humor, drawing on behavioral science research as well as real-life case studies and the voices of real employees from around the world.

Table of Contents:
Preface: From Assholes to Bosses
I. Setting the Stage
  • 1. The Right Mindset
II. What the Best Bosses Do
  • 2. Take Control
  • 3. Strive to Be Wise
  • 4. Stars and Rotten Apples
  • 5. Link Talk and Action
  • 6. Serve as a Human Shield
  • 7. Don't Shirk the Dirty Work
  • 8. Squelch Your Inner Bosshole
III. The Upshot
  • 9. It's All About You
My Take:
What a pleasant surprise. Due to a strategically-placed library bar code, I didn't realize this was by the author of The No Asshole Rule until I opened the front cover. Loved that book, liked this one just about as well. This one expands on the former, which talked about how to avoid dealing with (ahem) jerks at work, and talks about how not to be a "jerk" yourself when you're promoted to the corner office ... and how, in fact, to be a good, even a great boss. For time reasons I can't elaborate more, but this was a good one -- more meat there than I usually expect from books of its kind.

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