Review: Robert I. Sutton – Good Boss, Bad Boss (S)

Good Boss, Bad Boss
How to Be the Best… And Learn from the Worst
Robert I. Sutton

“If you are a boss who wants to do great work, what can you do about it? Good Boss, Bad Boss is devoted to answering that question. Stanford Professor Robert Sutton weaves together the best psychological and management research with compelling stories and cases to reveal the mindset and moves of the best (and worst) bosses. This book was inspired by the deluge of emails, research, phone calls, and conversations that Dr. Sutton experienced after publishing his blockbuster bestseller The No Asshole Rule. He realized that most of these stories and studies swirled around a central figure in every THE BOSS.”

The way the book is set up didn’t quite click with me. The chapters and sections felt a bit all over the place, and I couldn’t really see the clear connections between them. It’s like everything just melted together without any standout points. A bunch of it was things I’ve seen and heard a million times before – nothing groundbreaking, just common sense stuff. I guess if you’re new to this kind of thing, it’s a decent overview that gets you thinking, but it doesn’t dive deep into anything and tends to repeat itself here and there.

I also noticed some contradictions that made me scratch my head. My advice? Take what you like and leave the rest. There’s some humor in there, but I didn’t always catch the punchline.

It’s nice to see someone trying to make the whole work and management scene better with their examples and tips. They’re onto something when they say pretty much everyone can relate because we’ve all had a boss, have a boss, or are the boss. So, there’s some wisdom in there for sure. If you’re into business and leadership books or just want to up your boss game, “Good Boss, Bad Boss” is a solid stash of info that goes down easy and I recommend it for those getting into management. 3 stars.

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