The No Asshole Rule – ‘Building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t’
Robert L Sutton
The No Asshole Rule is an outstanding read and a must for anyone looking to improve the culture of their schools and staffrooms.
Perhaps the subheading best sums up the nature of this book, ‘Building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t’. While the title may put some readers off, this book is based on years of Sutton’s teaching and research into organizational culture at Stanford University.
Sutton, a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, begins by breaking down the many forms of assholes in the workplace, and presents compelling data to show just how big a problem that poor workplace behavior and cultures is. Even providing down to the dollar costs, that poor behavior and workplace culture can bring.
Sutton cannot be accused of false advertising; this book really does look at every type of asshole and asshole behavior in the work place. He also cannot be accused of subtlety, forcing the reader to examine their own workplace behaviors to see if they too harbor an inner jerk.
Not one to expose a problem, pose some questions and leave the discussion, the second half of the book is dedicated to showing all members of organisations how to deal with the different types of assholes they encounter. More importantly for leaders are the techniques and case studies presented, showing how to build and maintain a positive workplace culture that is asshole free.
This is essential reading for anyone in leadership in schools, and anyone who works in schools who has felt that there must be a better way. Every school has their jerks and assholes on staff, as well as their cliques, staff rooms and faculties that provide nothing but trouble for the school as a whole, and leadership teams in particular.
Sutton is a challenging thinker, and a genuine expert in organizational leadership.