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The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't Hardcover – February 22, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; 1 edition (February 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446526568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446526562
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This meticulously researched book, which grew from a much buzzed-about article in the Harvard Business Review, puts into plain language an undeniable fact: the modern workplace is beset with assholes. Sutton (Weird Ideas that Work), a professor of management science at Stanford University, argues that assholes—those who deliberately make co-workers feel bad about themselves and who focus their aggression on the less powerful—poison the work environment, decrease productivity, induce qualified employees to quit and therefore are detrimental to businesses, regardless of their individual effectiveness. He also makes the solution plain: they have to go. Direct and punchy, Sutton uses accessible language and a bevy of examples to make his case, providing tests to determine if you are an asshole (and if so, advice for how to self-correct), a how-to guide to surviving environments where assholes freely roam and a carefully calibrated measure, the "Total Cost of Assholes," by which corporations can assess the damage. Although occasionally campy and glib, Sutton's work is sure to generate discussions at watercoolers around the country and deserves influence in corporate hiring and firing strategies.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

We all know them or know of them--the jerks and bullies at work who demean, criticize, and sap the energy of others, usually their underlings. It could be the notorious bad boss or the jealous coworker, but everyone agrees that they make life miserable for their victims and create a hostile and emotionally stifling environment. Fed up with how these creeps treat others and poison the workplace, Sutton declares war and comes out calling them exactly what they are--"certified assholes." Caricatured in sitcoms such as The Office, these brutes are too often tolerated until irreparable damage is done to individuals and the organization as a whole. Sutton's "no asshole rule" puts a stop to the abuse in no uncertain terms. Similar rules have transformed such companies as JetBlue, the Men's Wearhouse, and Google into shining examples of workplaces where positive self-esteem creates a more productive, motivated, and satisfied workforce. If you have ever been a victim, just reading Sutton's analysis brings calm relief, empowerment, and reassurance that you're not alone. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Robert Sutton is a Stanford Professor, organizational researcher, and best-selling author. His six management books include New York Times bestsellers "The No A**hole Rule" and "Good Boss, Bad Boss." His forthcoming book (with Stanford's Huggy Rao) is "Scaling Up Excellence." It is the first major management book on tackling this crucial and universal challenge, and is the product of a seven-year effort by Rao and Sutton. To learn more about the book, read new posts and articles on scaling, and to contribute your own story or ask Rao and Sutton questions, please visit www.scalingupexcellence.com.

Sutton was named as one of 10 "B-School All-Stars" by BusinessWeek, described as "professors who are influencing contemporary business thinking far beyond academia." Sutton is an IDEO Fellow and co-founder of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Center for Work, Technology and Organization, and Stanford Design Institute (the "d.school"). He has written over 100 academic and popular articles and chapters, and over 1000 blog posts. He often leads workshops and gives speeches about his books and is academic director of several Stanford executive programs including Leading for Strategic Execution and (with Huggy Rao) Customer-focused Innovation. Sutton blogs at www.bobsutton.net and tweets @work_matters.

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Customer Reviews

Many good things will come from this book.
PAReader
As a first level manager at an aerospace company, I found this book to be very helpful in giving me some tools to work with, and some advice to guide me at work.
R. Alexander
A really wonderful book, that can help you feel better and cope in a distressing work environment.
James Redpath

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

272 of 282 people found the following review helpful By S. Johnson on February 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am not one who typically reviews books. I do have to say that the No A**hole Rule was an excellent book both in researched content and personality. I was able to read this book in one sitting. It is very topical for anyone who shares a workplace with A**holes or demeaning people. I am sure that most of us do not have the luxury of avoiding these people on a day to day basis. If so, let me know where you work .

For the most part, it is inevitable that we have to deal with these people face to face. This is the first book that doesn't skirt around the facts of diagnosing these people as a**holes (by there actions) and giving effective advice on how to deal with them or not be one of them.

Bob Sutton's List of The Dirty Dozen Common Everyday Actions That A**holes Use

1. Personal insults

2. Invading one's personal territory

3. Uninvited personal contact

4. Threats and intimidation, both verbal and non-verbal

5. Sarcastic jokes and teasing used as insult delivery systems

6. Withering email flames

7. Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims

8. Public shaming or status degradation rituals

9. Rude interruptions

10. Two-faced attacks

11. Dirty looks

12. Treating people as if they are invisible

The Author sites companies that have effectively instilled a "No A**hole Rule" because they have realized that the true cost of the A**hole runs deeper than the A**hole's salary (TCA or Total Cost of A**holes). It truly can diminish productivity in the office, increase employee turnover, stifle communication, and lower employee self esteem and health. The book explains how to implement a No A**hole Rule at any organization.
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391 of 417 people found the following review helpful By E. Gerber on February 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have never written a review on Amazon, but feel strongly about writing a review for Sutton's No A**hole book because I feel many people whose might be concerned about the "taboo" title might not look beyond it and do themselves a great disservice.

As a female professional, I felt highly empowered reading this book. Dr. Sutton acknowledges the bullying and crass behavior that frequently occurs in the workplace and offers concrete ways to combat these trying individuals. I have already practiced his technique of publicly discounting bullying behavior with great success.

I found his suggestions for handling office place bullies - as both a superior and subordinate actions extremely smart and well-grounded. This book is based on sound social psychology and organizational research and does a great service to workers throughout the world.

I have dog earred many pages of the book and expect it to be a handy reference for many years to come.
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240 of 255 people found the following review helpful By D. Buxman TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll make my review brief, since this is a little book with a very concise point. Basically, life is far too short to tolerate jerks in the workplace. It's easy to spot these people based upon the havoc they wreak and the fact that they always choose targets with less power than themselves. This book provides terrific strategies for dealing with jerks, whether you are in management and want to weed them out, or are unfortunate enough to be working under them.

One of my favorite lines in the book is: " Passion is an overrated virtue in organizational life, and indifference is an underrated virtue." While self-professed management gurus who have never had a real job like to trumpet passion in the workplace (and implicitly accept jerk-like behavior), Dr. Sutton points out that sometimes a bit of detachment goes a long way in making life bearable. This is a book about picking your battles and doing what you can to make your workplace enjoyable. It is a quick, interesting and easy read.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Maureen Rogers on March 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Once in a while, a business book comes along that really hits a very important nail right on the head. Stanford Professor Bob Sutton's new book is one of them.

What the book does is argue that it is both anti-humane and counter-productive to give jerks free reign in the workplace, and that organizations riddled with destructive individuals - no matter how "valuable", powerful, and successful they are - should make conscious and deliberate steps towards changing their bad behaviors. Or get rid of them.

I hope that those who might be put-off by the title, or the use throughout the book of "the word" can get over it. Sutton may be provocative here, but he's not being cute. There really is no substitute for that particular word, and anyone who's experienced one at work - as victim, innocent by-stander, or even occasional perpetrator - knows it.

Sutton has the statistics to back up his claims that allowing bad behavior in the workplace is costly, citing studies that show the high proportion of people who have been negatively impacted by those insult, demean, and humiliate those under them in the organization. He even comes up with a mechanism for calculating how to itemize the overall cost of having jerks around by factoring in items like the cost of recruiting replacements for people who quit, HR expenditures on interventions and counseling, etc.

Sutton notes that many companies do, in fact, have some sort of "no jerk rule", but he is clear in pointing out that just having a rule in place is not enough. The rule needs to be enforced.
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