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The No A-Hole Rule, Part 1

Podcast with Robert Sutton, success strategist and author of "The No A-Hole Rule"

Robert Sutton Robert Sutton

"It's mostly a kiss-up, kick-down world" - Robert Sutton

I learned about Robert Sutton's latest book The No A-Hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't, (published by Warner Books), on Guy Kawasaki's blog. Guy helped Bob build The ARSE meter, which allows you to take a short 24 question test to determine if you are - you guessed it - an asshole. Most of the 11,000+ people who've spent the time to take the test over the past week aren't assholes, because (my theory) most true assholes wouldn't bother to take the test. They're too busy, too important... and... well, assholes.

In his day job, Bob is Professor of Management Science and Engineering in the Stanford Engineering School - which actually has a "no asshole rule." On Bob's blog, he has the Starbucks Test. If the person in front of you at Starbucks orders a decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n-Low and one NutraSweet, - you're in the presence of an asshole. If you've worked for a large corporation for more than 10 minutes, chances are you've met plenty of them. In this special two-part Success Strategies edition of TPR, Bob and I discuss how to keep jerks out of your workplace, tips for surviving toxic workplaces, famous assholes (Simon, Steve, John B, Bob N, and Carly), and even the virtues of assholes. According to Sutton, "being an asshole is a contagious disease." Please select the read more link below for resource links.

About Robert Sutton

Robert I. 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, an active researcher and cofounder in the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, and a cofounder and active member of the new co-school, a multi-disciplinary program that teaches and spreads design thinking. Sutton is also an IDEO Fellow.

Sutton received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from The University of Michigan and has served on the Stanford faculty since 1983. He has also taught at the Haas Business School and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences during the 1986-87, 1994-95, and 2002-03 academic years. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous scholarly publications, and as an editor for the Administrative Science Quarterly and Research in Organizational Behavior. Sutton's honors include the award for the best paper published in the Academy of Management Journal, induction into the Academy of Management Journals Hall of Fame, the Eugene L. Grant Award for Excellence in Teaching, the McGraw-Hill Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award, the McCullough Faculty Scholar Chair from Stanford, and selection by Business 2.0 as a leading management guru in 2002.

Sutton studies the links between managerial knowledge and organizational action, innovation, and organizational performance. He has published over 90 articles and chapters in scholarly and applied publications. He has also published seven books and edited volumes. In particular, Sutton (and Jeffrey Pfeffer) wrote The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Firms Turn Knowledge Into Action (Harvard Business School Press, 2000), which was selected as Best Management Book of 2000 by Management General. His most recent book is Weird Ideas That Work: 11 ½ Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation (The Free Press, 2002), which was selected by the Harvard Business Review as one of the best ten business books of the year and as a breakthrough business idea. Sutton (and Jeffrey Pfeffer) has just completed Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management, which will be published by Harvard Business School Press in 2006. Major themes from these books are summarized in the Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Industrial Management, California Management Review, Strategy & Leadership, The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, HR.com, and tompeters.com.

Sutton has consulted to companies including Clorox, Ernst & Young, Deloitte Consulting, Gap, HP, Brass Ring, IDEO, IBM, McDonald's, McKinsey, People Magazine, Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble, SAP, Steelcase, and Xerox. He has given keynote speeches in recent years to executives at the International Utility and Energy Conference in Boca Raton, The Ruling Association in Milan, The Conference Board in New York City, the Human Resource Development conference in London, the International Printed Circuit Board Association conference in Long Beach, McCann-Erickson in Berlin, the Innovative Thinking conference in Scottsdale, Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, the Master's Forum in Minneapolis, the Economist Magazine Innovation Awards in San Francisco, the Design Management Innovation Summit in Palo Alto, the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, The Center for Adaptive Management in Cincinnati, The European Conference on Customer Management in London, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi, the World Knowledge Forum in Korea, Brandworks in Madison, WI,, Innotown in Alusend, Norway, the Bertelsmann CEO conference in Berlin, and the WJF Institute in Austin, Texas. He has also spoken to groups from over 100 organizations in diverse industries, including events for Accenture, Alcoa, Applied Materials, Cadence, China Telecom,General Motors, the Concours Group, Dechert LLP, Del Monte Foods, EDS, Gardere Wynne Sewell, LLP, Hearst, HP, Huhtamaki, Intel, McDonald's, Motorola, National Public Radio, Novartis, New Dominion, Nokia, Oracle, Panera Bread, PeopleSoft, Phillips Electronics, Premier Healthcare, Phillips Petroleum, SAP, Siemens, Sun, Synopsis, The Institute for the Future, and The City of San Jose.

Sutton also teaches numerous groups of executives and other professionals each year who come to Stanford for professional education. His research and opinions are often described in the press, including The New York Times, The Times (of London), Fast Company, Business Week, Financial Times, Fortune, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, National Post, The Boston Globe, ComputerWorld, Business 2.0, Red Herring, Entrepreneur, Industry Standard, Investor's Business Daily, Wired, Chief Executive, Strategy & Leadership, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Jose Mercury. He has also been a columnist for CIO Insight and a guest on numerous radio and television shows, Bloomberg, BBC, Connections, PBS, NPR, Tech Nation, and CNN.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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