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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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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.
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
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I also enjoyed the many real-life stories from different organizations.
I'd say this book is a must have if you have to work with people who (i) each time leave you feeling flat and empty, humiliated, and belittled and who (ii) have a tendency to treat their subordinates poorly. I have read countless books on productivity, but this might actually be the most important and impactful one of them all.
I must admit, I starting reading his book from the fourth chapter to the end where it discusses how to survive an environment full of a**holes. This was more applicable in my situation. Interesting Sutton points out specific avoidance and non-productive behavior I have witness myself that clearly confirms the affects a**hole have on productively. The beginning chapters are a little slow which mostly state the facts and definition as well as the weeding out a**hole in the hiring process. Good reading for Human Resources folks in the hiring and review process. The remaining chapters are most entertaining for us all that have to work in such an environment or with people and need to manage. In general the book has some great stories on real life people and is funny at times. As we all know it is much easily to be cruel than it is to be nice. I think everybody knows that. And misery loves company and helps us all cope. Join the crowd and get the book to learn about what we all non- a**holes can do together to survive and support each other. And maybe it can help an a**hole himself get better, that I can't only hope. Incidentally I bought one book and am passing it around having each person sign it after they read it. Some have even bought their own copy to pass forward or keep as a reference.
It looks at:
- "Is it against the law to be a jerk?" from a world-wide perspective
- Provides surprising insights about how to lead in fear (or in trust)
- Inciting innovation by inciting smart and strategic approaches to fighting (and becoming better teams along the way)
The book whets the appetites of philosophers and scientists alike, with a rich and engaging narrative that incorporates financial, psychological, organizational, emotional and, yes, even legal implications of a*holes in the workplace using specific, current case studies. One of the enjoyable elements of the book is that the author doesn't preach at you from an expert perspective (although he is a respected one); Robert Sutton tackles many of the issues we're all facing right beside us. The book offers insightful examples from the world and his life, as well as a tidy summary at the close of each chapter as a helpful reminder at-a-glance about the simple takeaways from this complex topic.
It's clear from the writing that Professor Sutton embraces the fullness of being a teacher, a scientist, a father, and a husband - all elements which may have led him to explore what makes for a more humane work environment in which everyone can thrive. This book is an enlightening companion for those of us who believe in leading more-than-one dimensional lives, whether it's in the workplace or outside of it.