Good Boss, Bad Boss:

How to Be the Best…and Learn from the Worst

A USA Today Bestseller

If you are a boss who yearns to do great work, and inspire others to do the same, what can you do about it? Good Boss, Bad Boss is devoted to answering that question. Stanford professor Robert Sutton weaves together the best psychological and management research with compelling stories and cases to reveal the mindset and moves of the best—and worst—bosses.

This book was inspired by the deluge of emails, research, phone calls, and conversations Dr. Sutton experienced after publishing his blockbuster bestseller The No Asshole Rule. He realized that most of these stories and studies swirled around a central figure in every workplace: the boss. These heartbreaking, inspiring, and sometimes funny stories taught Sutton that most bosses and their followers wanted a lot more than just a jerk-free workplace. They aspired to become, or work for, an all-around great boss, somebody with the skill and grit to inspire superior work, commitment, and dignity among their charges.

As Dr. Sutton digs into the nitty-gritty of what the best—and worst—bosses do, a theme emerges that is a hallmark of great bosses: they work doggedly to “stay in tune” with how their followers—and superiors, peers, and customers—react to what they say and do. The best bosses are acutely aware that their success depends on having the self-awareness to control their moods and moves, to accurately interpret their impact on others, and to make adjustments on the fly that continuously spark effort, dignity, and pride among their people.

Editorial Reviews

Good Boss, Bad Boss teaches the art and the science of practical leadership for the twenty-first century. I would consider it a must-read for anyone looking to improve their impact and accelerate their desired outcomes.” 

Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit 

“Using real-life examples and insight gleaned from thirty years of experience as a manager, Sutton teaches his readers to become the boss employees enthusiastically want to work for. This entertaining, satisfying guide is a wakeup call for bosses everywhere—and a survival guide for those who work for them.” 

Publishers Weekly

“Walter makes Sutton’s no-nonsense views and straight-from-the-hip wording flow naturally. His delivery of the stories and studies that support Sutton’s discussion of bosses good and bad is flawless.” 


“Sutton convincingly illustrates the need for education and change and stresses that leaders should keep one question in mind: ‘I wonder, dear bosses, what would your people say about you?’” 


Author Biography

Robert I. Sutton is professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University, where he is co-founder of the Center for Work Technology and Organizations, Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and Institute of Design. He was named as one of ten “B-School All-Stars” by BusinessWeek, which they described as “professors who are influencing contemporary business thinking far beyond academia.” His books include The Knowing-Doing GapWeird Ideas the Work, and two New York Times bestsellers, The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss

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Reader Biography

Bob Walter is a producer, director, and audiobook narrator. He is best known for his work as a music producer and sound effects designer for the movies Halloween, The Little Brave Toaster, and Apocalypse Now. His audiobook narrations include several nonfiction and fiction titles from Hachette, Random House, and HarperCollins, among others.

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