Monday, September 13, 2010

No To Assholes (in the Workplace)

Okay... I guess we can really make that no to assholes in life, but for this particular post, let's stick to the office setting.

My recent book discovery is Robert Sutton's "The No-Asshole Rule." I was going thru's featured reads and this title was on the first few pages. Of course, intrigera me went on my usual google spree to know more about the book and the author, and of course I find Bob Sutton's blog. He's a typepad fan, just like Seth Godin. :)

His latest entry speaks about how weeding out the negative offers more to productivity and growth than enhancing the positive. Negatives in the worlplace are mostly led by the bullies, the whiners, the "what-I-say-may-be-useless-and-hurtful-but-I'll-say-it-anyway" kind of person, and Bob surmices them all to be assholes. We like the term asshole because it elicits an emotional response. Call someone rude and they'll probably shrug you off. Call someone an "ASSHOLE!" and you'll get the fight you want.

Assholes everywhere in the workplace. They're the people who take all the credit for everything, the ones who contribute no new ideas but have everything bad to say about those already laid out on the table. The asshole is the person who may be bringing in the sales and the customers, but due to unrelenting arrogance, brings everyone else down at the same time. The asshole is the Charlatan in Joey Roth's illustration, the one who just loves to rain on the martyr's parade. And Bob Sutton's right, why endure them and try your best to feed positivism into the rest of the workforce when you can just simply fire the assholes away!

The thought of being as asshole intrigued me and I tried the ARSE (Asshole Rating Self Exam) here. Result showed that either I'm not an asshole or I'm just fooling the test to make me seem like I'm not one. I recommend everyone take this test.

Need more asshole-worthy characterizations? Ask and you shall receive. In another of Bob's books (Good Boss, Bad Boss), he interviewed Baird CEO Paul Purcell, and Paul gives us an even easier asshole distinction:
"The worst assholes consistently do two things: One, put their self-interest ahead of co-workers and two, put their self-interest ahead of the company."
Look, I know there's an entire generation out there who'll beg to differ with me on this... You know who you are, ye who thrive in office politicking, backstabbing and backbiting. But see, you need to be weeded out for growth and profitability to move forward! It'll be for the good of the company, the good of the economy! YOU'RE THE CHINK IN THE CHAIN. Shall we just get rid of you now or will you change? I vote for rid-of-now anyday.

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