Good Boss, Bad Boss - Robert Sutton from Stanford


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Stanford Professor Robert Sutton discussed the main ideas in his new book Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to be the best... and survive the worst, which weaves together evidence and case studies to identify the mindset and actions of the most successful bosses. Professor Sutton emphasized that the best bosses are in tune with what it feels like to work for them, while the worst live in a fool's paradise.

Take the Rypple B.O.S.S. and find out what kind of B.O.S.S. you are:

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  • very true..nice presentation.hope the bosses appreciate this too ;-)
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Good Boss, Bad Boss - Robert Sutton from Stanford

  1. 1. Good Boss, Bad Boss presented by CONFIDENTIAL
  2. 2. Your host Our guest Dan Portillo Bob Sutton VP, Organizational Development Professor, Stanford Rypple Author of Good Boss, Bad Boss July 8, 2010 2
  3. 3. What kind of B.O.S.S. are you? Find out at presented by July 8, 2010 3
  4. 4. How to be the best….and learn from the worst Robert Sutton Stanford University
  5. 5.  Two points, starting with Jimmy Buffett
  6. 6. “Some things are still a mystery to me, and other things are much too clear.”
  7. 7. To be a great boss, you’ve got to be remarkably self-obsessed. Not for egotistical or selfish reasons, but because staying “in tune” with your people is a hallmark of great bosses.
  8. 8.  The “interesting shoes day” story.
  9. 9. Followers are hyper-focused on those who wield power over them; bosses are remarkably oblivious to their underlings.
  10. 10. Typical member of a baboon troop glances at the alpha male every 20 to 30 seconds.
  11. 11.  Effects of giving people power: •  Focus on their own needs and concerns •  Focus little attention on the needs of others •  Act like the rules don’t apply to them
  12. 12. Three Berkeley students, five cookies Two students brainstorm and the third has the power to evaluate their ideas Those with power tended to: • Take the fourth cookie • Eat with their mouths open • Leave more crumbs
  13. 13.   Assertiveness   The small wins strategy   Wisdom   Superstars and rotten apples  Got their backs?
  14. 14. “The best bosses are rated roughly average by followers on terms like competitive, aggressive, passive, and submissive– they are moderately assertive.” Having a “perfectly assertive” boss is like eating perfectly salted food… you tend not to notice it’s excellence.
  15. 15. “I believe managing is like holding a dove in your hand. If you hold it too tightly you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it."
  16. 16. Managers often overestimate their value – and don’t realize the damage – caused by watching and nagging employees. “First do no harm” is especially crucial to innovation – manage by getting out of the way.
  17. 17. After you plant a seed in the ground, you don’t dig it up every week to see how it is doing.”
  18. 18. Long term, “big hairy goals” are essential – but when people don’t know the little steps required to make constant progress, they freeze-up and freak-out.
  19. 19. The best bosses frame what they – and their followers -- do as a series of manageable and doable steps.
  20. 20. Her people were freaking-out and overwhelmed by a crucial sales campaign. Until…..
  21. 21. The best bosses dance on the edge of overconfidence, but a healthy dose of self- doubt and humility and saves from turning arrogant and pig-headed The attitude of wisdom: The courage to act on what you know in concert with humility to doubt your assumptions and actions
  22. 22. “Investment decisions or personnel decisions and prioritization don’t wait for the picture to be clarified. You have to make them when you have to make them. You take your shots and clean up the bad ones later. I think it is very important for you to do two things: act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction; and when you realize that you are wrong, correct course very quickly. “
  23. 23. For decades, I would always go first in meetings to discuss opinions on stories, a sequence, design, artwork or a music score. I don’t like to go first anymore. I actually like to hear what other people have to say first. Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks
  24. 24.  Fight as if you are right, listen as if you are wrong.  Thebest bosses make it safe to fight like crazy over ideas, in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
  25. 25. “When two people in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.”
  26. 26. “Everyone will get humiliated and encouraged together.”
  27. 27. Who are your stars? Do they undermine or enhance collective performance? •  The “top” salesperson in the Seattle Men’s Wearhouse store
  28. 28. Bad apples -- including deadbeats, downers, and assholes -- bring down performance 30% to 40% compared to teams that don’t have them. Research by Will Felps
  29. 29. “5 to 1 rule” whether it is encounters in personal relationships or at work. Negative emotions, laziness, and stupidity are remarkably destructive and contagious.
  30. 30. Baird CEO Paul Purcell “During the interview, I tell them that if I discover that they are an asshole, I am going to fire them.”
  31. 31.  Thebest bosses protect their people from intrusions, distractions, idiots, and idiocy of every stripe
  32. 32.  Ignoring bad rules and procedures  Changing bad rules and procedures  Taking the heat for your people  Battling enemies and idiots on their behalf
  33. 33. Two key diagnostic questions: 1. Do you know what it feels like to work for you? 2. If they had the choice, would your people elect to work for you again?
  34. 34.
  35. 35. Answering your questions July 8, 2010 4