The No Asshole Rule Book Summary - The No Asshole Rule Book explained in key points
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The No Asshole Rule summary

Robert I. Sutton

Building a Civilised Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't

4.1 (153 ratings)
13 mins
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    The No Asshole Rule
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    Assholes is the right term for all those people who regularly bully or put down others.

    We all have bad days and act like assholes every now and then; we are all temporary assholes occasionally.

    Certified assholes, on the other hand, are people whose asshole-behavior is not a temporary outburst on a bad day – rather, it is part of their character. These are people whose bad behavior is continuous and long term.

    This hostile behavior can be expressed both physically and mentally. It may be verbal or non-verbal. Assholes leave their victims angry, afraid, and humiliated.

    In the workplace, this can be expressed in many ways: Assholes interrupt others while they speak, they violate their personal space, insult and intimidate them, put others down, stare at them aggressively or ignore them altogether.

    Assholes often get away with this behavior by treating their own bosses or customers respectfully, whilst treating everyone else poorly. Hiding behavior like this can be very effective if lower-level employees feel the asshole’s good reputation with superiors would lead to their complaints being ignored.

    The general rule is:

    Assholes is the right term for all those people who regularly bully or put down others.

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    Key ideas in The No Asshole Rule

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    What is The No Asshole Rule about?

    The No Asshole Rule delves into the problem of bullying or aggressive co-workers, who in many cases rise to management positions. Sutton provocatively labels them assholes.

    The book lays out the effect these employees can have on a business, and gives advice on how to develop an asshole-free environment.

    Who should read The No Asshole Rule?

    • Anyone who wants to learn how to identify and deal with assholes in the workplace
    • Every office worker, whether employee, manager, consultant or intern
    • Anyone who wants to avoid being seen as an asshole

    About the Author

    Robert I. Sutton (*1954) is a Professor at Stanford Business School. He has advised numerous international companies and published several popular scientific books.

    The book draws on his extensive experiences working for some of the world’s biggest companies and best-known CEOs such as Steve Jobs.

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