We’ve all worked for bosses we remember with gratitude, even fondness—and for bosses upon whom we’ve wished all manner of ills. And who wouldn’t want to fall firmly in the former category? These new business books offer top-notch advice and strategies for becoming a leader extraordinaire.

Robert L. Sutton, Ph.D., has stellar credentials, but perhaps the most compelling reason to pick up Good Boss, Bad Boss is the fact that people demanded he write it. After publication of The No Asshole Rule, Sutton says he was “inundated with asshole stories from all over the world.” And people didn’t just share—they wanted answers: namely, Sutton’s advice for dealing with passive-aggressive people, bullies, people who don’t listen and more. The author realized “the boss” was a central figure in all these stories, so he decided to study the great ones. Case studies, charts and surveys help readers assess their challenges and act on them, and sections like “The Damage Done” make it clear that bad bosses increase turnover, inflict collateral damage on employees’ loved ones and inhibit performance. 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?”

The prospect of negotiating to reach compromise is often viewed as difficult and discomfiting, but Chris St. Hilaire has a different take. “Like sports and music, persuasion is both an art and a craft,” he writes in 27 Powers of Persuasion, noting that many people associate persuasion with manipulation and sleazy sales pitches. But there’s a much better way to look at it, he argues, and the things he’s learned from decades of experience working with politicians, CEOs, lawyers and marketers back him up. He notes that effective persuaders, regardless of the situation—professional or personal, business or law—follow the same rules. In each chapter, St. Hilaire and co-writer Lynette Padwa explain a rule of persuasion, share successes and offer insight. This book is a valuable resource for current and future leaders in the workplace and beyond. As St. Hilaire writes, “Nearly every human interaction involves some type of persuasion.” Wouldn’t you agree?

Every day, employees are told they must be passionate about their jobs—they should embrace the company’s mission and values, regardless of whether they feel valued. This is a problem, and Stan Slap knows how to solve it. Bury My Heart at Conference Room B draws on Slap’s 20 years of experience as a CEO, plus the eponymous management workshop he delivers worldwide. He’s seen time and again that “being emotionally committed to a cause” can make a big difference in performance. He cautions that managers can’t truly be leaders unless they bring their own values to work and believe they’ll “live better by working harder.” Slap’s tone is at once heartfelt and excited: He knows his strategies work because he’s seen it happen. This workshop-in-a-book should prove a worthy investment of readers’ time, thought and, yes, emotion.

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