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An alternative to traditional publishing, The Pergola is a digital gateway to career advice, gender issues, work facts and figures, movie and book reviews, and other interesting or funny stuff.  A busy professional can quickly check out the bi-monthly roundup and click through to read, watch or listen when something strikes his or her fancy. The Pergola is a resting place to pause and reflect. Subscriptions are free.

News Roundup


Do You Have the Right Boss, Organizationally?

Recently, I have come across several occurrences where an employee is clearly reporting to the wrong person in the organization. Like divorce, which hurts men, women, and children, a flawed reporting line hurts the manager, the subordinate, and everyone else. Here are some guidelines by which to judge a reporting structure.

Do You Have the Right Boss, as an Individual?

Since my training programs include interpersonal skills, it's no surprise that my clients and I often spend considerable time dissecting their relationship with their boss. What is surprising is how bad those relationships can be, sometimes really dysfuncational and toxic. And although it can take two to tango—that is, there are times when both parties have contributed to a nasty relationship—there are other times when I wonder who on earth thought this person was capable of being a manager.

Signs of a Bad Boss

Bad bosses have a lot in common. tells us what.

Stories of Terrible Bosses

In case you enjoy being appalled, here are stories submitted by readers of The Guardian about their bosses, good and bad.

And more from a website devoted to bad boss stories

Don't miss the guy who submits his resignation on a really beautiful cake. Some employees have a lot of class despite their managers.

How to Be a Good Manager - Excerpt from The Discreet Guide

Being a good manager is how you can differentiate yourself from most mediocre managers. Here is an excerpt of Chapter Eight from The Discreet Guide for Executive Women, including your responsibilities, how to treat employees, how to give performance appraisals, negative feedback, how to terminate someone, and what constitutes the management partnership. When you become an outstanding manager, the path ahead of you is wide open.

Harvard Business Review explains why good managers are so rare - Companies pick the wrong ones

Gallup finds that companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time. Most companies promote workers into managerial positions because they seemingly deserve it, rather than because they have the talent for it. And nothing fixes the wrong pick.

What Good Managers Do:

— Listen and explain
— Develop, encourage, applaud and correct their employees
— Address conflict, make decisions, hold people accountable
— Be fair, respectful, clear, and appreciative

Additional "Boss" Resources:
Fairy Godboss - Company Reviews for Women, By Women
SHRM: Society for Human Resource Management
Chipotle: A Case Study
A Good Manager according to Wikihow (in pictures!)
75% of employees say their bosses are the worst part of their job.
65% of employees say they would forego a pay raise if their boss would just be nicer.
Bad bosses cost the economy $360 billion/year in lost productivity.
Employees with bad bosses are 30% more likely to suffer coronary disease.
50% of employees who don't feel valued plan to look for work next year.
Don't blame the boss. He has enough problems."

Learning how to grow your people will make you grow in ways you didn't expect.
Quote from the boss: "I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was going to blame it on you."
Related Book Reviews
Nonfiction: Bossypants (Fey)
The Girl's Guide to Being the Boss (Without Being a Bitch) (Friedman)

[click to read - scroll down]

You may be interested in...
Creating Exceptional Presence
New challenges,
New behaviors,
New you

by Jennifer K. Crittenden
Purchase from Amazon
You're Not the Boss of Me
Charlene, the skunk in the middle, stands up for herself.
by Bill Harley
[click to watch]
Recommended Movie:
Horrible Bosses (2011) with Good Guys: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis and Bad Bosses: Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin Ferrell having the time of their lives.
Directed by Seth Gordon

      [click to watch trailer]

Training Programs
Your American Voice
Fluency, accent reduction, comprehensibility
by Jennifer K. Crittenden
Purchase from Amazon
David Brent from The Office
Worst. Boss. Ever.
[click to watch - warning: painful]
Related Audiobook:
Citizen Girl
by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
A humanities grad is hired to market beauty products to feminists,  guided by extremely weird management.

[click to read review - scroll down]

Click on image for more information
Career Advancement
Decision-making, opportunity assessment, negotiation

Custom Flash Drive -
MP3 Files -
USB Thumbdrive

Narrated by author

Purchase through my website

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