26 September 2023

Bad Boss

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By Michelle Gibbings, Wiley, $27.95.

Gibbings is right when she claims Bad Boss is for anyone who is in — or who is keen to avoid — a negative workplace environment characterised by ineffective leadership.

It’s sometimes difficult to realise, but bad bosses are not bad people, and the optimistic fact is there are concrete steps you can take to improve your situation. Believe it or not, as Gibbings shares wisdom drawn from decades in corporate leadership, it takes teamwork at every level to create an environment where everyone can flourish. You stand to gain better relationships and greater career satisfaction if you take action today and dare to examine your own role in your current situation.

A global keynote speaker, Gibbings is on a mission to help leaders, teams and organisations create successful workplaces — where people thrive and progress is accelerated.

What do you do if you work for a bad boss, manage one or are one? Structured around this subtitle, each section merits reading regardless of which one may seem most pertinent to you. It’s worth devoting time to the questions Gibbings suggests you ask yourself, which are listed under the heading ‘Time Out’. Take the opportunity to answer even if there is no management problem in sight: questions such as ‘Do you avoid saying no?’ and ‘Are you firing on all cylinders?’

The book abounds in good advice, and much of it is common sense, which in the midst of business pressures, sometimes flies out the window. Much of the good advice is illustrated or supported by an apposite anecdote. It is also important to stress the value of being yourself.

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