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Category Archives: Careers

Book Review: Good Boss, Bad Boss

With his previous book, “The No Asshole Rule,” Stanford University Management Professor Bob Sutton struck a powerful chord, resonating strongly with many of us – most of us – struggling mightily to do good, decent work in organizations of all sorts all around the land. In this one, he has picked out an important theme to carry his message effectively and meaningfully forward. It is: bosses matter. Discussed in the same context of the previous book, “Good Boss, Bad Boss” establishes the case for why bosses are so vital to the establishment of a healthy, personally satisfying, organizationally productive workplace – and why those who are dismissive of this fact for that very reason so often wind up actually being so toxic. In a very strong stage-setting chapter Sutton makes it clear why bosses matter. Quoting a researcher, he points out that “people do not quit organizations, they quit bad bosses.”

Calculating

Have you ever been told that the best career advice you can follow is simply to make your boss happy? Just do whatever your boss – whoever that is at any given time in your career – wants – whatever that may be without any questions or advice – with single-minded intensity, and you will find yourself among the powers that be in to time at all. . .

Reconciliation

We want to make an end to strife, to balance the warring factions of our lives, of the demands they make of us, and we of them. Just some peace and quiet, please, for once. Why is that so difficult, so fraught with fruitless struggle and seemingly endless failure? Well, one reason is . . .

Who cares

Most discussions about reconciling one’s person with one’s work – particularly when we wake up one day to find that we’ve been, for decades perhaps, neglecting that little point – tend to start with a reexamination of who we are. What kind of a person are we, or do we want to be, we ask ourselves. As we look back across those unexamined years, can we discern a plot struggling to leave its mark in the otherwise featureless terrain, a trajectory to our lives? What kind of story does it tell? This isn’t necessarily mid-life crisis stuff. Indeed, many of our younger colleagues . . .

Pegs

Surely you’ve had occasion now and then to discuss a particularly problematic junior. Perhaps he or she passively resists your instructions, disputes the wisdom of your guidance, or even actively foments dissension in your team. In the event, you probably have also received advice . . .