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The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work Hardcover – June 23, 2008

113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A story about Positive Ways to Turn Complaints into Solutions, Innovations, and Success

Every complaint represents an opportunity to turn something negative into a positive!

"Excuses always come from the losing locker room. In Jon Gordon's book The No Complaining Rule, he provides the winning edge."-Coach Lou Holtz

"In a world in which so many, it seems, focus on the glass as half empty, Jon Gordon sets out a clear blueprint in The No Complaining Rule to help each of us better ourselves. His approach will cut negativity and can impact our workplaces and our families, and help us carve out more productive, lower-stress environments."-Nathan Whitaker coauthor of Quiet Strength(with Tony Dungy)

"Complaining is one of the biggest problems in business today. It undermines the effectiveness of a team and organization, leading to contempt and an inability to adapt and change. In The No Complaining Rule, Jon Gordon offers the antidote."-Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher Investments, Forbes columnist, author of The Only Three Questions That Count

From the Inside Flap

It's Tuesday morning and Hope walks into her office with puffy eyes, a swollen head, and a broken heart. But unfortunately, her company—EZ Tech—is in worse shape than she is. The fact that their computer batteries are catching on fire is the least of their problems. Employees have been posting negative comments about management on blogs for the world to see, the media is attacking the credibility of the company, morale is at an all-time low, negativity is at an all-time high, and the stock price is sinking faster than the Titanic. As VP of human resources, Hope is charged with finding a solution to overcome the biggest challenge in her company's history. In the process of battling her own adversity, she discovers the no complaining rule and other positive ways to save her company and herself from ruin.

In the spirit of his international bestseller The Energy Bus, Jon Gordon once again shares an inspiring and enlightening story that reveals a powerful way to tackle the biggest problem in business and life—the negativity that costs organizations billions of dollars and impacts the morale, productivity, and health of individuals and teams.

Based on an actual company that created and implemented the no complaining rule, Gordon delivers an engaging story filled with innovative ideas and practical strategies to develop positive leaders, organizations, and teams.

For managers, team leaders, or anyone looking to turn negative energy into positive solutions, The No Complaining Rule shares powerful principles and an actionable plan to win the battle against individual and organizational negativity. When you implement the no complaining rule, you'll spend less time and energy on problems and more time focused on solutions.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470279494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470279496
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jon Gordon's best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous NFL, NBA, and college coaches and teams, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, hospitals and non-profits. He is the author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller "The Energy Bus," "The No Complaining Rule," "Training Camp," "The Shark" and "The Goldfish," "Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture," and his latest book "The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work."

Jon and his tips have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Atlanta Falcons, Campbell Soup, Wells Fargo, State Farm, Novartis, Bayer and more.

When he's not running through airports or speaking to businesses, hospitals or school leaders, you can find him playing tennis or lacrosse with his wife and two "high energy" children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jim Estill on September 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was a bit struck by the title which is allegedly a positive book but speaking about complaining and negativity seemed a little strange.

This book is told in storybook fashion and generally speaking, I prefer books to get to the point than using storybook style; however, I do know there are a number of people who do like storybooks.

I totally agree with the thesis of the book which is you will have more fun and you will do better, the company will do better if you don't complain and look at things positively.

The book has numerous good ideas on how to reduce complaining and the one thing that I liked was a no complaining week personal action plan which includes:

Day one - monitor your thoughts and words
Day two - make a gratitude list
Day three - take a thank you walk
Day four - focus on good staff
Day five - start a success journal
Day six - let go
Day seven - breathe

Although the book is fairly shallow, I would still recommend it and think it has some good ideas.
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Format: Hardcover
Some complaints are justified, others are not. Personally, I have found that chronic complaining (even silently to myself) accomplishes nothing positive. However, for many people, it seems to be an essential part of their personality, almost a way of life for them, and can be contagious among others, helping to create a toxic climate. It's best to avoid such people whenever possible but sometimes that is impossible. What to do? That is essentially the question to which Jon Gordon responds in this slender but thoughtful volume. "I didn't invent the [No Complaining Rule]. I discovered it - at a small, fast growing, highly successful company that implements simple practices with extraordinary results." Readers who "find" this rule in Gordon's book and then "obey" it will, in my opinion, do themselves and countless others a great favor: they will think of possible solutions to their complaints and, over time, become problem solvers rather than problem sharers.

The business fable has become a very popular genre and Gordon takes full advantage of its components (i.e. characters, plot, conflicts, tension, climax) to dramatize his key points. Briefly, here's the situation. Hope is the VP of HR for EZ Tech and, as the story begins, the highly profitable company suddenly faces a serious problem: The computer batteries it sells are catching on fire and that product defect has brought into question the capabilities of its "rock star" CEO, Dan. We also learn that Hope is a single parent of two teenagers who complain that they are neglected and Dan has recently become concerned that she is not devoting sufficient attention to her EZ Tech responsibilities so there are great pressures on her both at work and at home.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Ruby Bayan on July 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The title tells it all: no complaining. Author Jon Gordon, an inspirational speaker and consultant, delivers his message in this book through a captivating story that many corporate executives can relate with. Focused on the circumstances surrounding Hope, the VP of human resources at an IT company during a dangerously precarious business situation, Gordon takes the reader from negativity to productivity via the "no complaining rule."

Personal challenges, the company's product failures, co-workers' low morale, even the traffic to and from work, all contribute to how easily Hope harbors negative thoughts leading to negative actions. But serendipitously, picking up an inspiration from a hospital visit, she discovers that with the No Complaining Rule, she and everyone who follows it could be empowered to take the positive road.

Using Hope's interactions with her family, doctors, colleagues, and friends, Gordon succeeds in imparting a sure-fire way to stop negativity at home and in the workplace. Towards the end, he provides all the tools and directions to implement the No Complaining Rule and effectively change the culture of any corporation into a dynamic and solution-oriented environment.

Everyone has a take-away from this book. Aside from the No Complaining Rule Action Plan for businesses, schools, sports teams, and families, Gordon includes the "Are You a Complainer? Assessment" section and the "No Complaining Week Personal Action Plan" for the reader's personal use.

While Gordon admits that he was a professional complainer, he said, "The goal of this book is not to eliminate all complaining, just mindless, chronic complaining. And the bigger goal is to turn justified complaints into positive solutions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mint910 VINE VOICE on August 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The No Complaining Rule could be considered a self-help book. Though the way the information is presented brings it into an entirely new category.

The No Complaining Rule is told as a story. The story of Hope, Vice President of Human Resources at a computer company. The story starts out with Hope going through some person problems, she comes into work to find out the company is also experiencing some problems. Her boss, Dan leaves it up to Hope to help them find their way out of this mess, specifically with employee moral and negativity. Through some encounters with others Hope bases her plan for long term improvement on the No Complaining Rule. She uses this rule for her company but also herself and her family.

Throughout the book we get to learn about the No Complaining Rule ourselves and how it works. When I originally heard about this book I was expecting lots of lists, bullet points, and charts. There are hardly any in this book! I really liked the way this information was presented. It was presented in an entertaining way which in the end helps you retain the information much better than a bunch of lists and charts.

This book has made me think a lot about my negativity and complaining. I'll take a short detour and talk about my experiences with complaining. I, personally don't like to complain to people that aren't my family or close to it. I complain to them a lot they already know me, what can i do about it (ask my mother). I think that too much complaining can be seen as a weakness. But on the other hand if someone asks me how I am I'm not going to lie and say "Oh fantastic".

Here are the things I mainly complain about (ask my mother again):
1. I'm tired
2. I'm tired
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