2007/05/15

Disappointed by "The No Asshole Rule"



Not that I'm disappointed by the concept of having zero-tolerance attitude towards assholes, but by Bob Sutton's book on it: The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilised Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't. The back cover promised hilarious examples in a funny, defiant little book. An enjoyable review by Guy Kawasaki and lots of good ratings in Amazon also made it look like a good read. And I have this dear friend working at Jerk Avenue, and I sort of hoped getting something for her. But the book, aside from making me take a little time to reflect a bit about my own episodes as an asshole [1][2], was just boring.

Maybe the problem is that before the first page I was already in agreement with the author, and I did not need the additional 170 pages. Or that I'm lucky enough of not having had to deal with assholes at work in quite a while. Or that I'm not involved in hiring any team. Or that I'm not a certified asshole.

Bob Sutton has done a very nice service making explicit the No Asshole Rule [3] and bringing focus to it. But I just did not need that many asshole stories and that much evidence about its virtues.

[1] A surprising book in improving my self asshole-ness awareness was Leadership and Self-deception: Getting Out of the Box (link for IBMers). I'm pasting a comment I made on Roo Reynolds blog, who said about it, "it made me think about the nature of selfishness. Not every book does that":

Your minimalist recommendation has made me read Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box . Thanks for that. I liked the storytelling approach, and, as "advertised" by you, it is really making me think. A lot.

My 2c for anyone else feeling tempted by the book: it is a book for anyone dealing with humans, no matter if the leadership stuff has any appeal to you.
[2] All this writing about my asshole-ness may convey the impression that I'm a jerk. My mum and I think that I'm quite nice. But the asshole path is always there...
[3] If you want the No Asshole Rule enforced, you can vote for Kellypuffs if you ever find that she is running for some election.

1 comentario:

kellyd dijo...

Sorry to hear the book as disappointing. I never ended up buying it, because I worked with a number of assholes and had my own examples to go by. Another good link to this is at Guy Kawasaki'sblog for a "no assholes code of conduct" one company makes all employees sign.