Video Title: 
Good Boss Bad Boss: How to Master the Art of Leadership
Video Length: 
54 Minutes
Video Format: 
Video Price: 
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
7:30 AM Breakfast, 8:00 - 9:00 AM session
Main Dining Room, Stanford Faculty Club, 439 Lagunita Dr, Stanford, CA.

The toxic tandem, the mum effect, and other challenges to being a good boss. Why good bosses make it safe to disagree. How to predict the most effective leaders in an organization.

Great bosses are self-obsessed; but not for egotistical reasons. The best are those who understand their people's opinions of them and what it's like to work for them. This is no easy task. People in power tend to focus on their own needs over the needs of others. They also believe they have a stronger positive influence over their people than they actually do.

From peer-reviewed research and case studies, Professor Sutton found truly in-tune leaders share five hallmark characteristics. Good bosses are perfectly assertive. They are aware of people's reactions to them and adjust knowing when to push or back off. They have the attitude of wisdom dancing on the edge of overconfidence; but with a healthy dose of self-doubt and humility. They use a small win strategy framing big hairy goals in terms of small manageable steps. And they eliminate the negatives in an organization such as competitive superstars or rotten apples. Finally, the best bosses serve as a "human shield" protecting their people from harm distractions and indignities.

Robert Sutton is a professor of organizational behavior by courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a co director of the Customer-Focused Innovation Executive Program. The author of several books including Good Boss Bad Boss he received his PhD in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan.


Robert Sutton - Professor of Management Science and Engineering and by courtesy of Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business

Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering and a Professor of Organizational Behavior (by courtesy) at Stanford.  Sutton has been teaching classes on the psychology of business and management at Stanford since 1983.  He is co-founder of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization, which he co-directed from 1996 to 2006.  He is also co-founder of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and the Hasso Planter Institute of Design (which everyone calls “the d school”).

Sutton studies innovation, leaders and bosses, evidence-based management, the links between knowledge and organizational action, workplace civility, and scaling excellence.  He has published over 100 articles and chapters on these topics in peer-reviewed journals and the popular press.  Sutton’s books include Weird Ideas That Work: 11 ½ Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation,The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Firms Turn Knowledge into Action(with Jeffrey Pfeffer), and Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management(also with Jeffrey Pfeffer).  His book The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t  and current book Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…. and Survive the Worstare both New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers.  His new book Scaling-Up Excellence: Getting to More without Settling for Less(with Huggy Rao) will be published in February of 2014. 

Professor Sutton’s honors include the award for the best paper published in the Academy of Management Journal in1989, the Eugene L. Grant Award for Excellence in Teaching, selection by Business 2.0 as a leading “management guru” in 2002, and the award for the best article published in the Academy of Management Review in 2005. Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense was selected as the best business book of 2006 by the Toronto Globe and Mail.  Sutton was named as one of 10 “B-School All-Stars” by BusinessWeek, which they described as “professors who are influencing contemporary business thinking far beyond academia.”  Sutton is a Fellow at IDEO and is an academic director of three Stanford executive education programs: Leading for Strategic Execution, Customer-Focused Innovation, and a new online program called the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate.  His personal blog is Work Matters at and he also blogs at Harvard Business Reviewand is an “influencer”on LinkedIn. Sutton tweets @work_matters