I have been on a business-related book reading bender lately. Don’t worry I’ll get back to fun fiction in the next couple weeks. I was really looking forward to the Good Boss/Bad Boss and the No Asshole Rule books by Robert Sutton. I was pretty disappointed.
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't is basically just chapter after chapter of why not to hire assholes. Yeah, kinda figured that out myself. I would have appreciated more guidance on how to change the culture at your worksite so that isn’t tolerated beyond just citing the studies and case studies of where it has been implemented. I find it incredibly difficult to move from a culture of “At least he/she turns in the work on time” to “we won’t tolerate any behavior that negatively impacts our business or our employees.” The reasons for why this shift is important are clearly laid out in the book, but I am missing how to get from point A to point B.
Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst by Robert Sutton is better. The book devotes its chapters to the qualities of a good boss: good listener, asks questions, listens to employees, confident, decision-maker, etc. This book would be very helpful for someone who has not found a good mentor or example of “good boss” within his/her organization. It provides a good amount of material to help you reflect on your own leadership style and the case studies illustrate the points very well. Again, the person reading would have to be open to changing it up or evaluating their performance. I could see it being used as a tool by a supervisor to help a manager evaluate their own performance.