Book Review: The No A**Hole Rule

Despite it’s brash title, Dr. Robert I. Sutton’s book, The No A**hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t, is a valuable text that effectively treads where few business authors have treaded before.Sutton makes a case for the need for insight and direction in handling Bullies, Creeps, Jerks, Tyrants, Tormentors, Despots, Backstabbers, Egomaniacs, and any other kind of workplace employees who never learned to play Sandbox 101.I found the book to be an inspiring read and found that it was full of great advice.  Two interesting management take-aways I got from reading the book were:

  1. Corporations loose money due to unbridled “jerkism” and the author suggests that the cost should be tracked in terms of a “TCA” (Total Cost of jerks) metric.
  2. Due to #1, progressive companies need to have instilled in their corporate values, policies, and hiring processes, the sentiment that being a jerk is incompatible with the corporate culture.   Interestingly enough, companies like Google actually have anti-jerk clauses in their employee handbook.

If you find yourself working with a jerk, you can do the following:

  1. Minimize your time spent with the jerk.  Don’t pick projects they are on, don’t attend optional meetings they are in.
  2. Another tactic is to lesson the influence the jerk has on your department and in the company in general.  Try to steer new obligations and assignments that effect you away from that individual.

I found Robert I. Sutton’s book to be an interesting read.  Sorry about the title, Mom.Mike J

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