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

Building a Civilised Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't

4.1 (205 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

The No Asshole Rule by Robert I. Sutton is a management book that advocates for creating a kinder workplace by avoiding or getting rid of toxic colleagues.

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    The No Asshole Rule
    Summary of 9 key ideas

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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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    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.

    The No Asshole Rule Review

    The No Asshole Rule (2007) is an essential read that sheds light on toxic workplace behavior and provides strategies for fostering a healthier, more respectful environment. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • It offers practical solutions for dealing with difficult colleagues, giving readers actionable advice to improve their work relationships.
    • By presenting compelling case studies and research findings, this book effectively illustrates the destructive impact of assholes in the workplace, making it a thought-provoking and insightful read.
    • With its refreshing honesty and straightforward approach, this book is anything but boring, providing an engaging exploration of a topic that affects us all.

    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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    The No Asshole Rule FAQs 

    What is the main message of The No Asshole Rule?

    The main message of The No Asshole Rule is the importance of creating a positive and respectful workplace environment.

    How long does it take to read The No Asshole Rule?

    The reading time for The No Asshole Rule varies, but you can read the Blinkist summary in just 15 minutes.

    Is The No Asshole Rule a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Yes, The No Asshole Rule is worth reading. It provides valuable insights on how to deal with challenging workplace dynamics.

    Who is the author of The No Asshole Rule?

    The author of The No Asshole Rule is Robert I. Sutton.

    What to read after The No Asshole Rule?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The No Asshole Rule, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Best Self by Mike Bayer
    • Toxic Positivity by Whitney Goodman
    • Four Seconds by Peter Bregman
    • The Power of Bad by John Tierney and Roy Baumeister
    • Jerks at Work by Tessa West
    • Living In Your Top 1% by Alissa Finerman
    • The Asshole Survival Guide by Robert I. Sutton
    • The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma
    • The Hunger Habit by Judson Brewer
    • Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People by Renée Evenson