Robert I. Sutton, PhD, (2,010).
The No Asshole Rule. Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One that Isn’t.
Business Press. Printed in USA. First Trade Edition.238 pp.
This is an excellent book about organizational culture. It’s about abusive bosses, a topic usually discussed only behind closed doors. The book also provides a 24-question self-exam that can be found at http://electricpulp.com/guykawasaki/arse/. Remember that being weakness-aware is the first step to improve.
I can certify, by personal experience, that what is said in this book is accurate and reflects the crude reality of many workplaces. The only observation I made is that there is no reference to developing countries, where The No Asshole Rule is needed desperately. The Book also provides a good series of reference to studies about related topics and their implications in the workplace.
The author, Robert Sutton, is a professor at Stanford University and has other books that are worth to read: Good Boss, Bad Boss, Weird Ideas That Works and coauthor of Hard facts, Dangerous Half-Truth and Total Nonsense, and The Knowing-Doing Gap.
The Chapter that impressed me more is the one about “The Virtues of Assholes” where he mentions some successful assholes but also warns about Dangerous Delusions. Among these delusions are:
…The News is bad, but people only tell you good news…You think things are going great, even though problems are abound.
…People put on an act when you are around. Fear causes people to do the “right” thing when you are watching them. As soon as you leave, they revert to less effective or downright destructive behavior-which you don’t see.
I strongly believe this a must-read book for every manager.