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Home > Books, Special > Career-Op Gift Guide #15: The No Asshole Rule by Robert I. Sutton, PhD

Career-Op Gift Guide #15: The No Asshole Rule by Robert I. Sutton, PhD

December 16th, 2010

# 15 The No Asshole Rule by Robert I. Sutton, PhD

Let me start by addressing the mild curse word in the title of this book. I find it a totally appropriate use of the word and truly brings home the extremity and importance of the issue. If the word offends you, please skip this post, although I do highly recommend this book. — Douglas

A world without assholes (the author has a precise definition for them) — what a dream it would be. Working in a company where you weren’t constantly demeaned, threatened or abused. A company where everyone had the ability to succeed to their highest levels without suffereing the outbursts, rage and attacks of the assholes around them. While nearly everyone can agree this would create a much better workplace, too often we support assholes and allow them, even encourage them, to continue their behavior no matter what the cost to the company or those around them.

Sutton clearly explains what we already know in our hearts — excluding assholes from out lives makes everyone happier and more productive. He suggests that every company have no assholes rule clearly stated on paper and embraced by everyone in the company and I highly agree. It is the only way to insure that you, your fellow workers and your company can reach your highest productivty.

There is so much in this book that rings true with my own experience “in the trenches” of corporate life. This is especially true of the times I watched, from the outside, the extremely disfunctional entertainment business where my wife worked. The entertainment industry seems a haven for assholes of all sorts and I have seen some of the worst in action.

Too sum up the book in a few lines — don’t hire assholes in the first place, get rid of them if you have them and use some of the coping mechanisms in the book to survive them, if you cannot escape them. These might be the most important steps you can take to protect and extend your own career.

You can hear Moira Gunn’s Tech Nation interview with the author over at IT Conversations – Listen Here

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  1. December 16th, 2010 at 16:37 | #1

    Thanks for keeping Bob Sutton’s book on everyone’s mind ~ it’s one of my favorites too. I do have a slightly different “take” on the over-use of the word “asshole” and over-reliance on avoidance and suppression as conflict resolution tactics. My point of view on people who are not sociopaths or borderlines or clinical narcissists is this: an asshole is a behavior not a person and is not one person but two. For more of this type of thinking, check out my blog at the link.

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