Don't Be That Boss: How Great Communicators Get the Most Out of Their Employees and Their Careers


Praise for Don't Be That Boss

"Mark Wiskup's newest book is not exactly a how-to like his earlier ones. Instead, in this fast-reading drama that reminds me of The Goal, the famous Goldratt novel about manufacturing, we follow the lives of two starkly different managers. Chad, the one in need of lots of people-skills learning, reminds me of the words of author/speaker Tom Peters. Chad greets his employees every Monday morning in the coffee room?mechanically, checking off and ...

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Praise for Don't Be That Boss

"Mark Wiskup's newest book is not exactly a how-to like his earlier ones. Instead, in this fast-reading drama that reminds me of The Goal, the famous Goldratt novel about manufacturing, we follow the lives of two starkly different managers. Chad, the one in need of lots of people-skills learning, reminds me of the words of author/speaker Tom Peters. Chad greets his employees every Monday morning in the coffee room—mechanically, checking off and crediting himself for each arrival. Peters once commented, 'If you don't really care about your employees, really care, you should be a management consultant, not a manager.' But Wiskup shows that managers can learn. His twelve-hour story will keep you as engrossed as watching the TV show 24. I give it five stars!"—Barry Render, PhD, Harwood Professor of Operations Management Emeritus, Rollins College, Graduate School of Business

"This book will make you squirm. It will make you ashamed. It will make you better. For most of us 'words' are a poor approximation of what we mean. Wiskup's day in the business life of Chad and Mike shows with crystal clarity how to speak with purpose and integrity like a real leader should."—Gary Harpst, founder of Six Disciplines and Solomon Software, author of Six Disciplines® Execution Revolution

"Mark Wiskup demonstrates, with deft clarity, precisely how our behaviors and words cause organizational success or failure. If you've ever wanted to know the specific do's and don'ts of creating employee relationships that lead to respect, loyalty, high performance, and enduring success, read this book."—Rafael Pastor, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Vistage International

"Using this book as a teaching tool is especially helpful for fledgling managers. The scenarios depicted reflect real life and these conversations really do take place. Don't Be That Boss is a fun read, and illustrates how genuine, heartfelt honesty in management helps us all grow."—Fleury Yelvington, President and CEO, Carondelet Health, Kansas City

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470485859
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/26/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,465,407
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Wiskup has been a communications coach for the last two decades, presenting coaching sessions to Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries. He teaches executives how to master communications techniques with employees, leading to more productive, profitable, happy workplaces.

For more information, visit

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Table of Contents



7:00 AM Connections Made and Missed Out of the Gate.

7:05 Forgetful Mike Lucks Out.

7:06 Dry Cleaners Disappointment for Chad.

7:25 AM Chad plays "The Big Man" in the Break Room.

7:50 Taratino Debate Outside Louis's Office.

7:55 Chad's Strikes Back at the West Coast Phil.

7:57 Mike's Picks Up the Phone.

8:00 AM Sales Rundown: Reality Behind the Numbers.

8:01 Chad Admires His Handiwork.

8:13 Mike Is Behind Schedule, Again.

8:15 Chad Would Die if He Knew About This Bet.

8:18 Wins and Losses for Mike's Team.

8:26 Chad Worries About Phil on the West Coast.

8:27 Jeanie Gets the Info to Mike.

8:27 The Numbers Mislead Chad.

8:52 Mike Busts Dave.

8:54 Chad is Still Sweating About the West Coast.

8:59 Mike Gives Louis a Leadership Lesson or Two.

9:00 AM Financial Reports: A Star Is Born.

9:01 West Coast Frustration for Chad.

9:10 West Coast Jeannie Comes Through.

9:13 Why Mike Likes the Financial Stuff.

9:14 Phil Blasts Back at Chad.

9:15 Mike Likes "Apples to Apples".

9:28 Chad Goes into Deep Thought.

9:30 Chad Makes a Good Catch.

9:53 Mike Invites Ellen to Mahogany Row.

10:00 AM Frustration and Satisfaction: Strategic Plan Update.

10:01 Lynn Gives Chad Some Breathing Room.

10:15 Kim, for Better or for Worse, Leads Mike's Planning Process.

10:16 Chad Delivers Vague Praise Way Too Early.

10:20 Mike's Team Discovers the Employees Want More.

10:45 Hits and Misses for Chad's Team.

11:00 AM Customer Standoff: Accept Real Blame but Never Fall on Your Sword.

11:05 Mike Readies Louis for Combat.

11:07 Chad Comes Up with "The Perfect Storm" Tactic.

11:15 Louis Takes the Early Hit.

11:16 The Customer's Not Buying What Chad and Jody Are Selling.

11:36 Denise Asks for More Than Louis Offers.

11:42 Chad Overplays the Apology Card.

12:00 PM: Chad Negotiates When Mike Doesn't Have To.

12:01 Chad Offers an Olive Branch.

12:06 Mike Finds the Shoe on the Other Foot.

12:15 Chad Makes His Case.

12:20 Mike Paints His Picture of the Future for Colleen.

12:35 James Starts to Negotiate; Chad Is Ready.

12:45 Colleen Weighs In.

12:46 James Accepts the Offer, but Makes One More Push.

12:54 Mike Makes the Offer.

1:00 PM Vendor Negotiations: Winning When You Don't Have the Strongest Hand.

1:03 Mike Preps Kim and Himself.

1:10 Chad and Randy Unveil Their Request.

1:21 Mike Lets Kim Take the Lead.

1:23 Chad Hands the Reigns to Randy, but Doesn't Let Go.

1:50 Mike Starts Asking Jonathan Questions.

1:52 Tracy Busts the Bubble.

2:00 PM Disciplining an Employee: Hit Them with Specifics or Don't Hit Them at All.

2:03 Chad Reaches out to Mike.

2:15 Mike Spells It Out for Gary.

2:18 Chad Follows Up with Lynne.

2:27 Gary Gets No Sympathy from Mike.

2:29 Chad Treads Very Lightly with Susan.

2:36 Mike Shows Gary What Success Looks Like.

2:43 Chad Completes the "Criticism Sandwich".

3:00 PM Employee Promotion: Supervisor Becomes Assistant Manager.

3:01 Chad Perceives a Silver Lining.

3:02 Mike Wastes No Words.

3:04 Tracy Blindsides Chad.

3:04 Mike Lays It Out for Lucy.

3:15 Chad Lays it On Way Too Thick.

3:32 Mike Writes a Personal Note.

4:00 PM: Chad's Production Meeting: Just the Facts Ma’am.

4:01 Chad Relinquishes Some Power.

4:06 Balancing Customer Demands with Profit Margin.

4:13 Simone Stands Strong…for a While.

4:28 Randy Changes the Routine.

4:39 Back to the Regular Routine.

4:47 Simone Comes Back with a Win.

4:55 Mike Asks for Chad to Return the Favor.

5:00 PM Mike's Production Meeting: Not Exactly Kumbaya, but Lots of Give-and-Take.

5:02 Chad Receives a Warm Welcome.

5:05 Lots of Great Info, but No Numbers.

5:15 Leslie Explains Why a Chore She Dislikes Has Helped Her.

5:30 Rebecca Needs to Work Harder.

5:40 Chad Thought He'd see More Backslapping.

6:00 PM After Work Downtime: Mike and Chad Hash It Out.

6:01 Chad Loosens Up.

6:15 Mike Starts In.

6:20 Chad Wants to Hear More.

6:30 Mike Owns Up to His Failures.

6:40 Mike Gives Chad a Lesson.

6:45 Chad Listens to Mike.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 27, 2009

    Relevant & Actionable Leadership Guide

    I've now read three of Mark Wiskup's books and consider him one of my favorite authors. As a front-line manager for a large corporation, I found "Don't Be That Boss" to be relevant, practical and immediately-actionable. The book is divided into short chapters that illustrate the various challenges managers experience on a daily basis (such as simple issues like connecting with an associate or more complex issues such as facilitating a performance management discussion). Each chapter provided me several "ah-ha" ideas that I immediately incorporated into my daily routines.
    I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to Wiskup's next project!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009


    As I was reading the book, I had to smile because, Mark was taking about me. I could recognize the errors in the interface that I was having with others and how I could make some minor change to make a whole lot of difference. It is an excellent book and well worth the reading time.

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    Posted January 11, 2010

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    Posted January 25, 2011

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