I absolutely LOVED the book “Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to be the Best… and Learn from the Worst” by Robert Sutton. You may recall that he also wrote the book “The No Asshole Rule” which is also terrific.
Key takeaways for me:
- No matter what your intentions, if you are “the boss” people will read something into whatever you do or say. As a good friend of mine once said – “sometimes my words took on lives of their own”. You need to be very careful – your people are watching you all the time trying to figure you out.
- KISS. We all know this one, but in business we forget it. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Figure out what is really important to your company, your department or your product. Bring it up frequently. If you are measuring 25 important things, none of them will get done. Find a handful – manage to those.
- Power can go to your head easily. Don’t be a bosshole ( I love this word!).
- If dirty work needs to be done, do it. Layoffs, firings, and other uncomfortable conversations are dirty work. Don’t drag them out. Do what needs to be done, people will respect you for it.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a boss or aspires to be one.