The No Asshole Rule

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t

by Robert I. Sutton

Assholes create a toxic work environment, destroying productivity. Sutton introduces the Total Cost of Assholes (TCA) metric. In the case of a salesman named Ethan, the cost was estimated at $160,000, including time spent by Ethan’s manager, HR professionals, senior executives, outside counsel, as well as the costs related to high turnover of support staff.

Sutton warns not to hire wimps and polite clones. “A series of controlled experiments and field studies in organizations show that when teams engage in conflict over ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect, they develop better ideas and perform better. For this reason, Intel requires all new employees to take “constructive confrontation class.”

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Sutton, Robert I. The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. New York: Business Plus, 2010. Buy from Amazon.com

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