Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The No Asshole Rule


This is the kind of thinking that made America great, the lack of which has made us a country of simpering milquetoasts.

The following is an excerpt a Publishers Weekly review of the book, The No Asshole Rule:

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.


There is some hope after all.

16 comments:

magnetbabe said...

Dude, do you know what I did all day yesterday? I cleaned out the desk of a notorious asshole that graduated from my lab over the summer. After he graduated he left for his new job and left all his shit in and covering his desk. We're not supposed to take any samples, notebooks, etc. with us when we leave so instead of organizing them nicely and storing them, he left them sprawled all over his desk and now we need the desk to set up equipment on. Since I'm the one that was luckiest enough to work closely with him and learn first hand that he was an asshole, I knew best what to do with the stuff. Talk about decreasing my productivity, I wasted a whole day on it.

In short, I've heard the book is good and I couldn't agree more with it's bottom line.

Michelle said...

Oh man! I worked in corporate America for twenty years and this is so true. I believe I lost count of how many assholes I worked with and for over those twenty years. I'm just rejoicing that someone finally had the balls to address the situation. Motivation by intimidation is never a good thing and productivity is normally cut in half where it occurs. Part by people calling in sick because they just can't stomach coming to work and the other 25% because they are worried about how not to piss them (the assholes) off and bring more unwanted attention their direction. Let's hope the higher ups in corporate america sit up and take notice. I doubt it will happen though because you don't get to be a CEO because you're a nice guy or woman.

Asshole sometimes seems to be a code word for being on the fast track express to a corner office.

Sean Ferrell said...

It's like the stars are aligned... have you seen Jaye's blog today? She's got a post in the same vein.

Jaye Wells said...

I swear I didn't read your blog before I posted. I actually got my idea from a friend who has an asshole boss and recommended I blog about it.

briliantdonkey said...

Wow,

This looks like a great idea for a book, and like something I would enjoy reading. (wish EYE would have thought of it!). Wait a minute. There isn't any kind of "the no Smart ass rule" sequel to this book is there?

Btw, Re: your 'check out Friday night lights' comment: are you talking about the movie or the weekly show? I have seen the movie not the show. Season 1 isn't out on dvd as of yet but I got it queued up in netflix when it does come out.

BD

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I like having assholes around the office. They make good targets, and make my underperformance seem less poor.


Hang on....

mr. schprock said...

I think there are people who are themselves not assholes, but can, through their personalities and habits, turn other people into assholes by getting under their skin. It's like they carry the asshole virus without actually contracting the sickness themselves.

I think I have an idea for a post.

Moni said...

Ah ha, the "total cost of assholes." That's a pretty neat concept never thought about it that way. Oh that brings to mind, What about the total cost of assholes in society? The thought is mind boggling. ;)

Trevor Record said...

Happily, I am a flamboyant weirdo rather than an asshole.

Toni Anderson said...

I wonder how bad you'd feel if you took the test and unexpectedly found out you are an asshole?

Not YOU, Scott :) Wouldn't want to get that old intimidation thing going again ;) but wouldn't it just suck to think you were PDG and find out you were actually a complete wanker???

Alan said...

Apropos to nothing at all, does any of you gals and guys know where Tanya's ( http://myirrationalities.blogspot.com/) been?

I like my workplace peers because I drive a lot and my clients are developmentally disabled already. :-)

Jada's Gigi said...

If only corporate America and the world at large would get it..it pays to hire good people...not just good at what they do..but good people...it pays every way possible...

The Zombieslayer said...

I've actually seen that book, and wondered if it was any good. I'll have to read part of it at Barnes and Noodle.

I have one asshole at work. I don't interact with him, so he's not a problem to me.

Dixie Belle said...

I'm leaving a dept run by an dingy asshole. I hope I have better luck at the next job.

Beth said...

So hysterical yet SO TRUE! I had two major assholes as bosses during my career and oh my God, it's difficult to work in that type of climate. Why don't businesses realize this? Well, some do. I heard Google's the shiznit.

Kathleen said...

Oooohhhh!!!! I must buy this book while wearing gloves and then put it under the door of the nano-manager while he's out of the office. Of course the problem is that most assholes will never in a million years recognize themselves as the asshole in question!!!!