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The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't Paperback – Bargain Price, 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 alternate Paperback edition.
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 alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
According to the book, negative interactions have a five time stronger effect on mood than positive interactions. So you can see that keeping around that "very productive A**hole" may have deeper implications that do not show up on the books, but take a toll on the ones around him/her.
There is a whole section in the book detailing how to avoid being an A**hole which I won't get into here. I think that it is a truly insightful section on how to face ones own demons, and to be a more effective co-worker/partner/boss in a work environment.
The section that really jumped out for me (due to its immediate applicability) was the ways to deal with A**holes. Many books talk about enthusiasm and working harder with passion allows you to get around people who are demeaning and rude at work. This book explains that this is not necessarily the head on solution to avoid rudeness in the workplace. In some instances, developing indifference and emotional detachment may be the best way to survive in the long run while achieving small victories. In the end, small victories can lead to winning the war. You can also limit your exposure, hope for the best and expect the worse, de-escalate and re-educate, or stand up to A**holes.
In conclusion, this was a great read. I think it is extremely topical for anyone who is involved in HR or hiring new employees and management. I also believe that it is an especially good read if you are a victim of A**holes on a day to day basis.
Oh, it also makes a GREAT GIFT for the token A**hole in your office. Enjoy!
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.
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.
- Lowering staff morale and sapping team spirit, and the associated impacts on performance/productivity/quality of work.
- Staff turnover and the high associated direct costs and 'opportunity costs' incurred when good people leave in order to escape bad apples.
- Potential exposure to legal action due to workplace bullying or discriminatory behaviour.
Dr Sutton's book various facets of what happens when such people and their bad behaviours are tolerated, both those in positions of power or part of ones' peer group – these behaviours are certainly not unique to those in management!
Numerous references to, or commentary by, recognized business and academic leaders is also included that further details bad traits in managers and team members, but also provides examples of exemplar behaviour due either to excellent top-down leadership or individuals simply rising above the poor behaviours demonstrated by others to achieve personal success anyway.
The text is also punctuated by often humorous examples from Dr Sutton's own workplace and academic experience, and his writing style makes this potentially dreary material a joy to read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Limited or just missing prescriptions on how to deal with bad characters