The No Asshole Rule

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During István Papp’s guest lecture, an intriguing question was raised: “What decision would you make when an employee is a creative person with high performance but, simply said, is an asshole?”

During István Papp’s guest lecture, an intriguing question was raised: “What decision would you make when an employee is a creative person with high performance but, simply said, is an asshole.” A rule is suggested to screen out the toxic staff by Robert Sutton in his funny, honest and straightforward book The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't.

The idea of the book came from a faculty meeting at Stanford University when the faculty discussed whom they ought to hire as a new faculty member. One of them suggested a renowned researcher, when somebody else said, “Listen, I don’t care if that guy won the Nobel Prize…I just don’t want any assholes ruining our group.” Employees who are insensitive to their colleagues are not rare, and it would be hard to find somebody who has never said or would have wished to say, “What an asshole,” it is still a taboo topic.

Robert Sutton suggests tests to detect assholes, one simple suggestion of his is to see the “difference how a person treats the powerless versus the powerful”. He does not stop here, we should test ourselves as well if we are assholes, at least occasionally.

Test yourself, take the ARSE (Asshole Rating Self-Exam) here

Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering in the Stanford Engineering School, where he is co-director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization, cofounder of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and a cofounder and active member of the new “d.school.” He has several books, The No Asshole Rule was the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Businessweek Bestseller between 2007-2010.

More about István Papp's lecture here!