Soundview Executive Book Summaries


Book Review: Good Boss, Bad Boss

by Robert I. Sutton

It’s not easy to follow-up a runaway success. Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, was faced with such a task. His 2007 best-seller The No Asshole Rule raised eyebrows for more than just its title. Sutton pulled no punches in his assessment of the toxic workplace culture created by brutal, oppressive individuals. In Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best and Learn from the Worst, Sutton provides an ideal second installment. Now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary, Good Boss, Bad Boss moves the narrative forward. It gives readers a set of instructions to be the best managers they can be.

It’s interesting to note that Sutton was originally tempted to write a straight-ahead sequel to The No Asshole Rule, but after examining the situations in which many of the book’s stories occurred, he found that a boss was the central figure in nearly every case. Executives that read Good Boss, Bad Boss will be grateful that Sutton chose to focus on formulating a healthy management mindset. The practice of being a good boss requires diligence. Through case studies and research, Sutton reveals the necessary steps to move from a great mindset to transformational actions. As an added bonus, Sutton acknowledges that the bulk of individuals in management positions also report to someone, and he includes observations on surviving the worst flaws of a bad boss.

To download your copy of Good Boss, Bad Boss in any of Soundview’s digital formats, visit Soundview’s Web site Summary.com.

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Respect Beats a Kick in the Head

We’re a little more than one week away from our big Soundview Live webinar featuring Robert I. Sutton, Ph.D, the author ofThe No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best and Learn from the Worst. In preparation for any Soundview Live webinar, Soundview’s editorial department spends several days researching the author’s material and checking out his or her blogs, articles, Twitter feeds and any other relevant writings or appearances. I’ll confess this can occasionally be an exhausting but necessary process. However, the background work on Sutton has been an absolute joy.

He’s one of the most energetic and boisterous speakers we’ve encountered. If you sign up for the event, you’ll find out just how energizing Sutton can be during the course of a presentation. There are authors who are dynamic in person but ponderous on the page, and vice-versa, but this isn’t the case with Sutton. For instance, here’s a terrific blog post he recently logged that discusses the impact of the economic downturn on how bosses treat their employees. Sutton takes umbrage with another article that suggests a boss can only be tough and not be friendly if he or she expects his or her employees to succeed.

I thought that Sutton’s counterpoint to this argument was succinct and full of the straightforward logic that makes his books so successful. Suffice to say, it’s why Soundview is so excited to make Sutton available to answer YOUR questions during the next installment of Soundview Live. The event takes place next Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at Noon (Eastern). Don’t miss out on your chance to learn the secrets of being a great boss! Visit Summary.com to learn more. Don’t forget: Subscribers attend for FREE!

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The Good, the Bad and the Boss

Times certainly have changed. I spent the better part of last night asking every trick or treater who came to the door if he or she had a peanut allergy before dispensing with goodness clothed in a Reese’s wrapper. The costume that the average kid wears could have come from a pocket-sized Hollywood film set. It was light years beyond the costumes of my youth that consisted of  hastily sewn bits of fabric coupled with props from the Five and Ten. I still saw parents standing at the end of my driveway but instead of conversing with each other, they were immersed in their own cellphones. I suppose they preferred to speak to a faceless individual miles away rather than the living, breathing soul that shared the sidewalk.

Despite all the changes in our holiday habits, the workplace continues to have certain elements that don’t bear the mark of time. One of those is the relationship between a manager and his or her employees. Not surprisingly, if one were to poll a particular manager’s workforce, one would likely find both praise and scorn for the manager’s performance of his or her job. Suffice to say there are good bosses and bad bosses.

One author who has devoted a substantial amount of time to studying this subject is Robert I. Sutton, Ph.D. He took the business world by surprise with his book The No Asshole Rule, a volume that pulled no punches about the need for a better workplace. The reaction to that book led to his latest release Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best and Learn from the Worst.

Now, Soundview is pleased to offer you the unique opportunity to get special insights direct from Sutton. He will be the special guest on the next installment of Soundview Live, the exclusive Webinar series produced by Soundview Executive Book Summaries. The event takes place at Noon (Eastern) on Tuesday, November 16, 2010. This is your chance to get answers to your questions about how to handle a bad boss and how to become a better one yourself.

Visit Summary.com to find out how to sign up and remember, if you’re a Soundview subscriber, attendance is FREE!