No, this is not an April Fool’s joke!

This book was a donation to for the little library, but before I passed it along, I wanted to give it a read. Turns out, there is a 3.5 hour long audiobook on Hoopla for it, so I checked that out instead to knock it off the TBR.

The audiobook is narrated by Sutton, as he and his managerial team came up with and implemented the No Asshole Rule. The main point of the rule is, when hiring or reviewing a current employee, to note if that person is someone who is demeaning, arrogant, a bully, or overall impacting the workplace in a negative or hostile manner- essentially, being an asshole. To be more polite or politically correct, the rule has also been referred to as the “no jerk/ weasel/ bully rule”. Either way, the implementation of the rule is to help create a positive, collaborative, and productive work environment that overall impacts the workplace for the greater good.

Sutton goes on to explain that one asshole in the bunch can severely effect the more than just the work environment- it can financially impact the company as well. For example, Sutton mentioned the research done to associate a cost with the damages of one asshole to a company- such as time spent by the supervisors and HR to handle situations caused by the asshole employee, the cost of recruiting new employees due to high turnover rates associated with the treatment by this employee, and the counseling costs of those affected. These damages totaled to an estimated 160 thousand dollars per year. A few more other signs of damage from an asshole employee are:

  • employees quitting their jobs at accelerated rates
  • employees suffering from less work and life satisfaction
  • reduced commitment to employer
  • reduced productivity
  • trouble concentrating on work and other mental and physical problems such as trouble sleeping, fatigue, irritability, and anger
  • heightened depression, anxiety, and burnout

How do you know if you work with an asshole? Here is Sutton’s list of identifiable actions:

  • those in a position of power, who abuse their power over those less powerful
  • bosses who ridicule, put down, use the silent treatment, or who sling rhetorical insults like “Tell me I’m incompetent, go ahead.”
  • those who target others and make them feel oppressed, humiliated, or belittled.
  • those who hurt or emotionally control others when they know they won’t be caught doing so

Sutton also provides a list of “The Dirty Dozen” everyday actions that asshole perform that are NOT okay- including sarcastic jokes and teasing, withering emails, rude interruptions, and dirty looks. More than likely, the odds are that you have worked with or know a few assholes in the workplace- or worse, you might be the asshole and didn’t realize it! Reading Sutton’s The No Asshole Rule helps make it easy to identify and confront those who are, and also aids in changes that can be made if you have been the asshole in question.

Overall, it’s definitely an interesting and a good system to use for evaluation. I may not be in a managerial position, but between the office and the equine industry as a whole, I can absolutely see the value in this guide. I know from personal experience that people quit bad bosses, not bad jobs, even before I was working in a office. So, although the rule seems like a no-brainer, after reading the book, I can see how difficult it is for employers to confront the asshole and implement the rule. I highly recommend the audiobook in this case, because it’s a perfect lecture to listen to- animated, interesting, and very useful!