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.
Executives are constantly fighting a battle on two fronts. There is the desire to improve the organization month by month and quarter by quarter. However, personal progress cannot be neglected in the pursuit of organizational excellence. After all, to make a better company, you need to be at your best. This month Soundview Executive Book Summaries features three summaries that will help you improve the performance of yourself, your team and your organization.
by Claudio Feser
Serial Innovators by Claudio Feser: The typical life expectancy of a company is estimated to be about 15 years. What does it take to exist beyond that average? A company must be able to keep up with changing markets. It has to learn what elements are slowing down its ability to adapt. A company must be able to continuously reinvent itself to stay relevant. Serial Innovators is a guide for how to build a company that is adaptive, innovative and can survive well into the future.
by Les McKeown
The Synergist by Les McKeown: A successful team includes bold dreamers (Visionaries), pragmatic realists (Operators), and systems designers (Processors) but it takes a Synergist to blend the motivations and goals of the three types and get everyone to work together effectively. The Synergist puts aside his or her own agenda and captures the best input from each team member. Anyone can learn to be the Synergist and fill this critical role in teamwork improvement. The Synergist reveals a proven method to build highly successful teams while stimulating personal and organizational growth.
by Robert I. Sutton
Good Boss, Bad Boss by Robert I. Sutton: How a boss wields his or her power over an employee is bound to result in feelings that might include resentment, confusion or possibly comfort. If you are a boss, are you attuned to how your words and actions affect your employees? Good Boss, Bad Boss is for bosses and those who have bosses. It details how to adopt the characteristics of a good boss and survive the flaws of a bad boss. Dr. Sutton uses real-life case studies and behavioral science research to reveal exactly what the best bosses do.
To download your copies in any of Soundview’s multiple digital formats, visit Soundview’s Web site, Summary.com.
If you’ve ever wondered what causes some executives to rise to the top while others flounder in middle management, the latest book summarized by Soundview Executive Book Summaries offers some unique insight. In Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t, Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, offers a set of standards that will no doubt prove controversial to some readers.
Pfeffer sits at the opposite end of the scale from his Stanford colleague Robert I. Sutton, author of The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss. While Sutton offers readers advice on how to create a more collaborative, humane work environment, Pfeffer offers advice on how to win in the “real” world. This is the world where it pays to get noticed, where making the right connections to leverage one’s own career goals are more meaningful than a comfortable relationship with one’s direct reports.
Pfeffer doesn’t mince words. He is completely cognizant of the fact that his advice will cause many readers to feel uncomfortable. It says a great deal that one of the endorsements that adorns the book jacket of Power is from one of Pfeffer’s former students. She confesses that his advice made her quite uncomfortable. For some readers, the true discomfort will arrive when they look around and see that many of Pfeffer’s observations ring true.
To paraphrase a character in a play by George Bernard Shaw, Sullivan sees things as we’d want them to be. Pfeffer sees things as they are. The reader can choose which path to follow.
To get your copy of the Soundview summary of Power, visit Soundview online at Summary.com.