The following is a guest post by Peter Sims, a former venture capitalist and co-author of “True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership.” His next book, “Little Bets,” will be published next spring.
It has been damn near impossible to find consistently good and objective insight and analysis from business thought leaders. But Robert I. Sutton, a professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford and the Stanford Institute of Design (where we have overlapped), is an exception.
His new book, out now, is his best to date. Good Boss, Bad Boss is food for thought for managers and leaders in organizations large and small. It is packed with insight, lists of “how to” suggestions, and questions for bosses to ask themselves.
Sutton draws upon an impressively broad collection of research, including fascinating sociology research from Rob Cross that shows top performing employees are far more likely to have high energy than high IQs. He also gives some space to Frank Flynn’s research about what kind of boss is most effective — competitive, aggressive, passive, or submissive. “Moderately assertive” bosses win. Those bosses are able to strike a balance between managing too much and too little, something Sutton calls “Lasorda’s Law,” after the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda’s style.