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The No A**hole Rule

I came across Robert Sutton’s book The No asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t via Esther Derby’s blog entry Jerks at work. This is one issue which has been bothering me off late a lot, "How to survive a workplace that is not civilized?". In my quest i ran into some artilcles on the web, which I thought I will share this with people (I am sure a lot of them are out there who need this silver bullet) who might be searching for the same kind of help.
Let me start with Robert Sutton’s own entry "Marge’s asshole Management Metric", I really cant wait to try this out in my new workplace. To quote Sutton "If you work in a place that is knee-deep in assholes, and you don’t want to turn into one or feel forced to act like one every day, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get out." I am afraid if that is the pragmatic solution though, As wherever you you find these stereotypes.
Esther Derby has a series of nice entries going,
To quote Esther on the two sterotypes of managers (who are assholes),
"1) They believe this is acceptable management behavior. They seem to be of the "workers are lazy and you must hold their feet to the fire to make them perform" school of management.

2) They have significant difficulties in the arena of self-management. These bosses seem unable to manage their own emotional responses and actions."

Absolutely spot on…I have worked with more type I people.
Another article by Esther on Stickyminds
Esther writes, "When your manager becomes abusive, stand up, state that you will not tolerate verbal abuse, and leave the room. Go to HR and file a formal complaint. Keep in mind that HR’s job is to protect the company’s interests, not yours. In my experience, the higher in the management chain the abuser is, the less likely HR will take action. The company has probably tacitly accepted his behavior for years, but when multiple complaints are on file, HR may decide that it is in the company’s best interest to deal with the abuser. If there are witnesses to the abuse, talk to them about corroborating your account. "
Valuable advice really.
Somehow Ayn Rand comes to my mind here "You cannot win in a system where ‘they’ set the rules." If that’s the only option, to get to a point where you can set the rules?
If you cannot get to a point where you can set the rules then I would suggest Robert Sutton’s advice "Develop an indifference". Though its not something which I want to do but I have to.
Another thing which I am trying this time is to make sure my boss is not a jerk. Ya I know my new boss, another victim of intimidation by assholes.
Also one key thing in my opinion is that incompetency leads to CYA behavior (Cover Your Ass, I have borrowed this phrase from my friend Sridhar Rajarao). These incompetent assholes try to boot lick the Incompetant assholes higher up in the ladder and move up the ladder. assholes move up fast in the ladder and pull up more assholes. That’s the reason Coporate is full of Junk these days (IMHO).
Off late I have begun to believe in the equation ‘Coporate == assholes’.
Last but not least take up the survey
BTW My top 5 (in the descending order of higher pain factor) were:
  • Lies
  • Betrays trust or confidences
  • Manages up, not down
  • Micro-manages
  • Steals credit or the spotlight from others

Also read Guy Kawasaki’s review here Book Review: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton. Guy writes, "Walk away and stay away. Don’t be afraid to leave a bad situation. It’s unlikely you’ll change the assholes into good people; it’s much more likely that you’ll descend to their level."

And spaces didn’t allow me write a sshole, And I had to retort to some tricks to get it take the word. Pardon me for the uncivilized language, but we are talking about uncivilized people here.

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