Summary: The Good Boss By Kate Eberle Walker
Summary: The Good Boss By Kate Eberle Walker

Summary: The Good Boss By Kate Eberle Walker

Rule #1: Call Her by Her Name

Create a business process for getting names right.

Why It Works

  • Treats getting the name right as a must-do, not a nice-to-do.
  • Success comes from active listening.
  • Conveys respect to every individual by taking on the work involved in getting a name right, rather than expecting the individual to do the work of repeating herself.


Rule #2: Be Someone She Can Relate To

Use a personality test for all employees.

Why It Works

  • Shifts identity focus away from gender to other defining characteristics.
  • Creates points of relatability that cross gender lines.
  • Helps managers adapt their communication style to each employee’s needs to create more positive working relationships.


Rule #3: Don’t Ask, “What Does Your Husband Do?

Standardize hiring processes to eliminate the potential for bias, leveraging data and standard forms and practices for recruitment.

Why It Works

  • Takes potential for unequal execution of diversity goals out of the mix by scripting recruiting questions so that everyone gets asked the same thing, and in the same way.
  • Calls out bias in action through nonpersonal data and statistics rather than making it personal by calling out individual behaviors.
  • Data allows for clear goals and measures.


Rule #4: Don’t Sit in Her Chair

Create thoughtful office facilities that are designed for women and solve for the things that make working life difficult for them.

Why It Works

  • Reduces the everyday frictions that distract from focusing on work, solving logistical problems before they become fundamental workplace issues.
  • Creates a tangible, visible demonstration that you see and care about who works for the company and what they need to be productive.
  • Creates a competitive advantage by taking something that most workplaces treat as checking a required box and making it something where you are best in class.


Rule #5: Watch the Clock

Institute a policy of stress-free, no-apology flexibility.

Why It Works

  • Lets employees determine how they manage their work and family obligations.
  • Accepts that just as work blends into family time, family blends into working hours.
  • Removes the stress employees feel about explaining and defending the decisions they make about where to be and what to do and when.


Rule #6: Speak Up So That She Doesn’t Have To

Have three or more women on the board of directors.

Why It Works

  • Broadens representation of the key stakeholders of the company.
  • Gives weight to female voices.
  • Enhances board communications among directors and with company management.
  • Sends a top-down message of the importance of gender representation.


Rule #7: Don’t Make Her Ask Twice

Hire an outside firm to audit compensation to identify and correct gender inequity.

Why It Works

  • Demonstrates to employees that you’re not just giving lip service to pay equity.
  • Uncovers any differences within the organization that may be driven by individual manager behavior.
  • Moves the conversation about pay equity beyond goals and assumptions to tangible data.


Rule #8: Be an Equal Opportunity Asshole

Establish meeting protocols to ensure that every voice is heard.

Why It Works

  • Provides a forum for idea sharing that does not require competing for airtime.
  • Gives credit where credit is due.
  • Rewards advance planning.
  • Neutralizes more aggressive advocacy for ideas.


Rule #9: Tell Her That You See Her Potential

Pair internal promotions with executive coaching.

Why It Works

  • Sources talent from within.
  • Gives bigger opportunity to proven talent with potential.
  • De-risks the likelihood of success by supporting efforts with coaching.
  • Strengthens the team dynamics to create a positive working environment.