THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE with more good bosses. Bob Sutton, the New York Times Bestselling Author of The No A**hole Rule has done more to make the workplace a more humane place than a hundred over-priced consultants. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Bob for many years, and he’s one of the few authors writing about business who understands creativity.
A Stanford professor, he shuns formulas and has a great gift for finding the insights that matter. He also can be both fearless and funny — all on the same page. Hundreds of thousands of people read Bob’s last book, a huge international bestseller. His new book, Good Boss, Bad Boss, focuses more on the positive, filled with poignant stories of the many little sincere gestures and big courageous efforts that make a boss really, really good.
Of course, for contrast, the book also has
marvelous stories of some really stinking bosses, the kind we all hope
and pray will fail. Bob’s book inspired me this week to recount a true
life morality tale I call Boss Poop
— Jonathan Littman
SHIFTING FOCUS IN HIS NEW BOOK, Bob Sutton swivels his crosshairs away from anyone in the office who might turn out to be a major problem (as examined in his business bestseller The No A**hole Rule). In Good Boss, Bad Boss — How to be the Best and Learn from the Worst, he lasers in on the position most responsible for either keeping a business sailing smoothly or dashing it against the rocks.
The book is not an exercise in sniping at bosses who treat their people wrong, make dreadful decisions, or have no business sitting in the Big Chair. While he entertainingly examines those examples of bad bossery (and many others besides), GBBB is more a thoughtful analysis of why being a good boss works — consistently and repeatedly — and is simply better for any business and the people who have to work there.
Being the co-author of I Hate People!, I must admit to a certain visceral pleasure at reading the many accounts and anecdotes of bosses gone wrong. However, I also have to applaud Bob in successfully painting the picture of today's most effective boss being the one who has to daily pull off the difficult job of maintaining a balancing act between discipline and motivation with those who serve under him.
(Full disclosure: I chatted with Bob as the book was nearing completion and he was looking for a title. We kicked around a number of options and a favorite emerged: Top Dog on a Tightrope. In the end, Good Boss, Bad Boss won out. Still, that title-that-never-was aptly sums up the core essence of Bob's useful new book. And it's a great read, too!)
— Marc Hershon