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Thursday, March 08, 2007

The No A**hole rule

In my first job, I vividly recall my boss calling each one of us on his staff into his office to tell us we stank and would never have a career in journalism. Shortly after, most of us quit -- and went on to have careers in journalism.
So when I recently came across an excerpt from Robert Sutton's book, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One, I thought about my old boss (He's no longer in journalism by the way). It was a risk to walk away from my first job, but I am glad I chose not to work for an asshole. In our efforts to achieve work/life balance and reduce our stress, who wouldn't want to work at a place with a "No Asshole" rule? (Wish they had one at The Miami Herald!)
Here is Sutton's advice for enforcing the No Asshole Rule:
*A few demeaning creeps can overwhelm the warm feelings generated by hordes of civilized people. Eliminate those folks who bring people down.
*Talking about the rule is nice, but following up on it is what really matters. If you can't enforce it, it's better to say nothing.
* The rule lives - or dies - in the little moments. Treat the person right in front of you, right now, in the right way. Help assholes recognize when they do their dirty work and show them how to change.
* Enforcing the No Asshole Rule isn't just management's job. Everyone in the organization must step in to enforce it when necessary.
*Embarrassment and pride are powerful motivators. In organization where the rule reigns, people who follow it are rewarded with respect. Those who violate it are confronted with public embarrassment.
* Look in the mirror. When have you been an asshole? If you make this mistake, admit you are an asshole and stay away from nasty people or places.
If you work in a place with an asshole, maybe it's time to do something about it! Click here for the full excerpt on Sutton's book in American Lawyer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for tipping us off to this book and your related comments. For sure, A**hole bosses and colleagues should be avoided. Plus, there's another grade of jerk out there, more innocuous but still to be avoided: The B**hole, as in butt. These folks aren't as toxic, but by their mediocrity in not even achieving first-rate A**hole status can be nearly as dangerous in dragging us all down.

8:43 AM  

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