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The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't Paperback – September 1, 2010
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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.
Dr. Sutton provides an analytical approach, guidance for calculating costs, and a pro-active approach that can improve the workplace for the sake of the company, work groups and individual contributors.
This book goes beyond the usual coverage for bullies and hostile environments that describe the fairly obvious results, the legal limitations, and recommended rapid exit strategies for individuals who are in the midst of it all.
Dr. Sutton bravely asserts that this problem does not have to continue and spread throughout the organization. He provides practical and rational insight for making changes that focus on positive results for the company and the employees.
I especially like the simple diagnostic question about the impact the individual has on the energy levels of those around them.
After 15 years of success with fabulous bosses and a minimal/manageable amount of exposure to @#$holes, I found out why other people I knew did not love their jobs the way I had in the past when I started working for a bully.
Being proactive and determined to succeed, I searched for answers to questions like - How can I manage this situation better? How can I find ways to be more effective and less reactive under these circumstances? How can I shield my team and try to be a catalyst for change in this department? What are the most important results that I need to focus on and manage?
I was discouraged to find other material that I read on bullies and hostile environments, concluded the bullies always "win" - that the jerk would persevere and often expand their influence. The targets and others impacted generally had 3 choices, accept and adopt the practices, become apathetic and do the minimum to get by spending a large percentage of time doing CYA or leave the department or the company. The books also spent a lot of time focusing on different legal positions.
This book provides hope that you can survive and impact change without a lawsuit. I wish everyone who is dealing with an #$%hole the courage, stamina, and good fortune to improve the situation.
This book documents a very real problem and proposes some very actionable methods for dealing with the issue. Please be patient with the author. For some reason he seems long winded while at the same time gloses over some very important points.
All in all, a good book, but one you will read once and probably never pick up again.