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Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,321 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
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 y
ebook, 0 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Business Plus (first published January 1st 2010)
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Aug 05, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, nonfiction
Full disclosure: I generally hate business/self-help/leadership books. However, I recently started a new job, and for the first time in my professional life, I’m a supervisor. In an effort to NOT screw this up, I’ve spent the last several weeks skimming a variety of business books, and I also attended a webinar aimed at young managers. Most of the books were predictably boring and ridiculous, but the webinar, led by Bob Sutton, was insightful, entertaining, and full of advice that I might actual ...more
Miranda Diaz
After reading Sutton's previous work the "No Asshole Rule", this is definitely the stronger work. If you read Good Boss, Bad Boss, DO NOT read the previous work as Sutton incorporates much of his other work here with much more substance.

Overall, a well written and practically applicable Leadership Manifesto. Keen observations on the corruption of power, and how to keep yourself both human and accountable to those you lead. Excellent observations, case studies and citing examples of infamous lead
Apr 11, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really helped me learn how to do deal with these minions that I am forced to spend 8+ hours a day with. The chapter on fear tactics was especially helpful and I have already employed #4 and #19 with great success! I feel like a sassy dictator after reading this book. Couldn't recommend it more!!

Though not a lot of people know about it, over the last few years, I've been unwillingly thrust into the role of CEO.

I have a few assistants that help me with things. Scheduling, errands, appointments, correspondance.

But more than that, the charity I run, Worldbuilders, employs people too. It's become far too big for me to handle on my own anymore.

We also run an online store, and that takes more people.

Back in 2008, when I had just one assistant, it wasn't a big deal.

But now, when I employ
Heather Clawson
Aug 02, 2010 Heather Clawson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will always have mad love for this book - not just because it's interesting and well-written, but because it has introduced me to "Bosshole." A combination of Asshole + Boss. Bwuahahahahahahahaha!
Oleg Kagan
Mar 28, 2012 Oleg Kagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: idea-books
While most business books make me want to throw myself into a deep hole head first, Good Boss, Bad Boss provided the kind of structured, no-nonsense advice that I can appreciate.

Originally, I got this book because I was in the mood for bad boss stories, and this book delivered on that to an extent. Though the case studies (good and bad) were sprinkled throughout, I found myself more drawn to descriptions of what made a good boss.

Good bosses fight for their people, good bosses tame their inner-
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
i'm a bit of a font snob, and i'll have to say that i was pretty turned off by the typeface. i bet it was meant to be approachable, but it came across lacking a bit of professionalism, if that makes sense to anyone else out there. i have to get it out there, since it meant that the book and i started out on the wrong foot.

bob sutton is a straight shooter. i've heard him speak before and he's similar in person - what else would you expect from someone who wrote a book called the no asshole rule?

Nov 11, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Sutton offers his take on effective supervision in a style that's conversational, jargon free and occasionally irreverent. Drawing from a wealth of real-life examples "Good Boss, Bad Boss" proves that you can learn just as much from lousy leaders as effective ones, even if all you learn is how not to do it.

The big reveal in GBBB is the importance of self-awareness. Time and again Sutton demonstrates how fallible and inaccurate our self-assessments can be. We're apparently hardwired to ove
Mar 04, 2012 Janine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing book. Not all leadership books are created equal, but I usually benefit from all of them in some way. However, this one is of the kind that I do not like at all. Its very obvious that the author was trying to make a few bucks here by throwing some good thoughts on leadership in the blender, adding some stories around it and backing it up with stuff he read himself. I really don’t like when there is no coherent theme. He writes the leadership principle he is trying to convey, a ...more
Tigran Mamikonian
Feb 17, 2013 Tigran Mamikonian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provides several veery instructive examples i situations, quite common in business, but where most of people do mistakes... Main of which - 1. never fail to defend your subordinates and transfer responsibility. In case of failure if project put clearly that it is your fault and explain what corrective action will be taken... Never just inform why project whent wrong... 2. Don't let temptation to get irrogant, rude to take over you - this is not productive in long-mid terms.., 3. Try to ...more
May 24, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The only problem with this book is that the bad bosses, or "bossholes" as the book calls them, that need to read this won't, and they will continue to be bossholes, no matter what you do or tell them.

You are probably reading this book because you are a victim of a bosshole and you want to learn more about how to deal with them. This book tells you how not to be one, but you probably wouldn't have become one because you are taking the time to read this book.

It is also upsetting to realize that so
May 26, 2012 Irwin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-phenomena
Stumbled upon this book in the library and I promptly snapped it up and finished in one week partly due to stress caused in no small part by my immediate superior who happens to be an asshole . This book recounts many instances of egomaniacs who happen to be in the management when they should not be there in the first place . Case histories from many big companies are mentioned . Highly recommended for asshole managers and their subordinates to create awareness for the former and tips and advice ...more
Sean Callaghan
Dec 26, 2014 Sean Callaghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read. Unfortunately, I've met too many people that would fall under the "asshole" moniker. Most of them in academia. What is it about the university that it attracts most of the assholes of the world? Is it because they can't find work elsewhere? Or is it they didn't have the street smarts to work on Wall/Bay Street? :)

Thankfully, my encounter with academic assholes was offset by meeting a handful of great people. This book stirred it all up, and provided great metrics for measuring assholi
Ariel Cummins
Mostly common sense, but some good info. More focused on being a boss than dealing with your boss. I'll definitely be reading The Asshole Rule, though!
Robin Rousu
Feb 06, 2015 Robin Rousu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good read. Research-based how-not-to-be-a-bosshole advice, well told and with a sense of humor. Recommended.
Xavier Shay
Didn't get much new out of it. Summary: don't be a jerk. You won't know you're being a jerk.
Dec 12, 2010 Lucas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mindset of a Great Boss - How would your people answer these questions about you?

1. Following Lasorda's Law? Are you constantly thinking about and trying to walk the most constructive line between being too assertive and not assertive enough? Or are you neglecting to give people the guidance, wisdom, and feedback they need to succeed? Worse yet, are you obsessively monitoring and micromanaging every move they make?

2. Got Grit? Do you treat the work you lead as a marathon or a sprint - are yo
Aug 31, 2016 Ilona rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here, I will save you some time: Don't be an asshole and take naps.
Apoorv  Jagtap
Jan 31, 2017 Apoorv Jagtap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst is more of a general book in that the advice given here falls in very general category. It's true that most times we as people miss these general principles just like common sense is not very common.

This book is a sequel to The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't by same author, although I admit not reading it, but also don't think it's necessary. In fact, last part of this book goes ove
Jean Tessier
May 02, 2012 Jean Tessier rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leisure
I liked The No Asshole Rule, so I thought I'd give this one a try too. Sutton bills the book as a follow-up to The No Asshole Rule, but with more of a focus on good management practices and less on the bad.

The key takeaway is that the job of a boss seems engineered to breed assholes. Bosses suffer from a double bias: they overestimate their own abilities and they cannot see how they are perceived by others. This leads people in boss positions to make poor decisions that everyone will notice but
Mieszko Lassota
Sep 27, 2016 Mieszko Lassota rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was ok, polish translation is horrible, otherwise ok, but nothing amazing or super revealing.
Dec 20, 2010 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I was prepared for this to be awful, but I actually learned a lot. The brief book emphasizes humanity, tells lots of (blessedly short!) stories from real CEOs to illustrate the points, and none of the recommendations fail the sniff test. The observations and recommendations border on the trite, but sometimes it's good to be reminded quickly of all the shit you're supposed to know.

The case for reforming or, failing that, expelling the worst offenders is bolstered by Will Felps’s research on “bad
A solid tutorial on beneficent bosshood. Dr. Robert I. ”No Asshole Rule” Sutton efficiently covers decent and despicable managerial behaviors. His text, sometimes jarringly, mixes the academic and profane but never strays too far in either direction producing a relatively quick and painless read. Although he relates several stories of over-the-top boss scumbaggery, some hoping for more of these cheap thrills will be disappointed. However the decision to not dwell on hellacious managers keeps wit ...more
Stacy Boyd
Reading ebook on iPhone and taking notes. Very easy to read and engaging. Definitely provided some useful advice.

Good bosses are considerate, specify clear goals and implement changes. Oh, and also are charasmatic, intellectually stimulating and set clear expectations. Grit is a hallmark too. This is the conviction that nothing is ever quite good enough. Work harder, be more creative, don't stop learning. Framing long-term goals as manageable steps leads to a more motivated, less distressed staf
Gene Babon
Oct 18, 2012 Gene Babon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst. This subtitle captures the essence of Good Boss, Bad Boss.

There are more than 21 million bosses in the United States and more than 90 percent of employees have at least one. Approximately 75 percent of the workforce reports that their immediate supervisor is the most stressful part of their jobs. People do not quit organizations, they quit bad bosses!

The stakes are high. Bad bosses destroy workplaces.

According to the author, a Stanford Management P
Aug 18, 2010 Efox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a goodreads giveaway winner.

I really enjoyed Robert I. Sutton straightforward approach to the behaviors, conscientiousness, and patterns that make good bosses great and bad bosses horrible. I would recommend this book for anyone who is a boss or who has one.

Sutton outlines, in his chapters, the behaviors and attitudes of best bosses and examples of what the worst ones don't (eg taking control, making sure your talk is more than empty words, shielding your people from unne
Feb 21, 2013 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Without a doubt, the best book I've read on management to date. The strength of the book is due in large part to Sutton's own honesty and humility - rare qualities in authors of this genre. Any business book that begins like this, at least deserves a second glance: "Despite the horseshit spewed out by too many management gurus, there are no magic bullets, instant cures, or easy shortcuts to becoming a great boss. The best bosses succeed because they keep chipping away at a huge pile of dull, int ...more
Tanja Berg
Apr 29, 2012 Tanja Berg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I wavered for a minute - does a book which only states the obvious deserve four stars? I decided on yes and I'm still pondering how blind sided I might be on my own actions and performance. However, my own self evaluation aside - which probably isn't worth much - I have received enough independent feedback to draw the conclusion that I'm mostly not an asshole.

Much research has been done on good leadership and before I opened this book the evidence was clear: the best bosses care about productio
Muhammad Khan
Fight as if you're right; listen as if you're wrong.
If you plant a seed in the ground, you don't dig it up each day to see how it's doing.
Beware of your inner jerk. Peformance, humanity...
...are just a few snippets that stand out for me. This work is not just an opinionated work by Sutton, it's a culmination of a life time's research, backed by professional studies, research and personal accounts from the workplace. Although it could be said the vast majority of the mat
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Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford and a Professor of Organizational Behavior, by courtesy, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Sutton studies innovation, leaders and bosses, evidence-based management, the links between knowledge and organizational action, and workplace civility. Sutton’s books include Weird Ideas That Work: 11 Practices for Prom ...more
More about Robert I. Sutton...

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“If you are a boss, ask yourself: When you look back at how you’ve treated followers, peers, and superiors, in their eyes, will you have earned the right to be proud of yourself? Or will they believe that you ought to be ashamed of yourself and embarrassed by how you have trampled on others’ dignity day after day?” 14 likes
“Fight as if you are right, listen as if you are wrong.” 4 likes
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