There are two principles that guide my leadership and management teaching:
1. The most important thing leaders do is help others succeed.
2. Life’s too short to work with jerks.
Put those two values together and you can build a wonderful workplace culture. That’s the goal of my book, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.”
I wrote it after countless people in my workshops and seminars asked me to recommend just one book they could read that encompassed the topics I teach to leaders. When I couldn’t pinpoint just one that covered multiple leadership topics – from change management to conflict resolution to emotional intelligence to communication to time management – I realized I should write it.
I was also encouraged by the response to my “What Great Bosses Know” podcasts, which are free on iTunes U (the academic arm of iTunes.) As of this writing, these 3 to 5 minute lessons have had nearly 14 million downloads. I hear from aspiring great bosses around the world who say they appreciate the practical advice.
I think that’s the most important aspect of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.” It is build on a solid foundation of leadership theory and research, but it’s translated into real-life and down-to-earth language and applications. It also contains self-diagnostics and quizzes, to help readers track their progress on the various leadership and management skill sets. Like my in-person teaching, I strive to keep things lively and fun. I believe leadership and laughter are a great combination.
My goal for the book was simple: To help the many managers who are promoted from their role as high performers or producers, and who then discover that their new job takes entirely different aptitudes. Because training is often in short supply, many managers lead by trial and error – and that can hurt their teams and the managers’ own reputation. I’ve discovered, though, that the book is helpful to managers new and old.
The biggest thrill of all is learning that it is being used by teams as a group learning textbook. I recently spent two days with 100 managers of a community college who are using it as the core curriculum for their management academy. What fun it was to lead a workshop on many of the book’s concepts: performance management, building positive cultures and leadership skills and values – and then to autograph books on top of it all!
I maintain a Facebook page (check in the author bio) for the book, on which I curate and post helpful articles for managers and interact with fans of the book. Management and leadership can be a lonely endeavor. It’s my honor to be a coach not only to participants in my seminars, but also people I’ve never met.
Together, we’re on a mission to help improve workplaces by providing managers the tools they need to lead others to success.
Watch this insightful video by Jill Geisler on her book Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know…
Book Review: Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know by Jill Geisler: Exclusive Video
Jill Geisler is an internationally recognized expert in leadership and management, who knows how to make learning fun. She is affiliated with the Poynter Institute, where she has led its leadership and management programs for journalists worldwide. Since the publication of her book, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know,” her teaching has been in demand across professions – including health care, technology, law, manufacturing, libraries and education. The secret to her communication skills is probably this: Her first career was in broadcast journalism as a reporter and anchor. At an early age, she became one of the first women TV news directors in the United States. After a long and successful career in that competitive arena, she joined the Poynter Institute’s faculty, where she guided the growth of its programs for managers. Jill holds a Bachelors degree in journalism and a Masters in leadership studies and now is the principal of Jill Geisler Leadershih. To know more about her, please visit her book website, http://whatgreatbossesknow.com/. Like her on her facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WhatGreatBossesKnow.