Book Review : Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…and Learn from the Worst

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Objective: The objective of Dr. Robert Sutton’s “Good Boss, Bad Boss” is to establish the case for why bosses are vital to the health and success of an organization and a productive environment. His clear message is “Bosses Matter!” He establishes the hallmark of a great boss by answering the following three questions: •If you want to be a Good Boss, what do you need to accomplish day after day? •If you have a Bad Boss, what can you do about it?

In short, what are the hallmarks of a Good Boss…..and worse flows of a Bad Boss?

Audience: We believe the book is an excellent read for anyone in the workplace, people who yearn to be skilled bosses or want to work for one.

General Theme: The book focuses on what best bosses do and the contrast between best and worse bosses when they perform essential chores like taking charge and making decisions. Dr. Sutton uses commonsense approach and the best psychological and management research to show how the great bosses in our world differ from those who are just so-so, or worse yet downright inept. Great bosses are aware that their success depends on how effective they are in influencing their teams and focus on achieving that.

Book Review Introduction: After reading the book the team concluded that the book is a very good read and should be recommended for every manager and definitely for ones who would be becoming managers soon. The beauty of the book is in its contents. The contents are very well written and did appeal to our fair logic. Hence we are stressing more on the contents of the book in this book review which will serve as a strong platform to the appreciation of the book that we have towards the end.

Chapter 1 - Setting the Stage –The Right Mindset
In a strong stage-setting chapter Dr. Sutton states clearly why bosses matter to the establishment of a healthy and productive workplace. Bosses matter because most employees have bosses, are bosses or play both. There are an estimated 21 million bosses in USA. He points out that according to research “people do not quit organizations, they quit bad bosses”. According to Sutton, the quality of your boss, or your own quality as a boss, makes a huge difference in both the quality of work that gets done and the quality of the working environment. Sutton believes that that it is possible to become a better boss for those who wish to make the effort. Chapter 1 of the book discusses the elements for having the right mind-set to become a great boss. Great bosses strike the right balance: just the appropriate level of assertiveness and consensus-building. He calls it “Don’t Crash the Bird” the delicate balance between managing too much and too little. Sometimes, bosses have to make tough decisions (for example, letting people go), but they find a way to do even the bad things the right way. In “Grit Gets you There” Sutton uses real life cases to show that great bosses have perseverance and passion toward long-term goals that lead to success. It’s just like running a marathon. They understand that small wins are the path to organizational success and it takes “solving bite sized problems” to handle complicated workplace situations. Sutton turns his attention to the importance of image for bosses and subordinates in “Beware of Toxic Tandem” He states that charges scrutinize boss’ actions and their reactions shape their behavior. They notice what their leaders do: every word, action or facial expression is observed and analyzed to death. The managed even pay careful attention to what the boss is wearing and build their wardrobe around that. For example, a boss who prides herself on clear communication, it can seem unfair that her carefully measured written word is not the only message reaching her employees from her. But that is the world in which she has to manage. And she has to put significant effort in understanding all the messages (conscious or otherwise) emanating from her. Great bosses protect...
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