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Bob Sutton


The Village Voice aside, note that it was a fellow Republican and underling, and quite a conservative one, who described Bolton as "Kick-down, Kiss-up kind of guy." As for lying, perhaps you should look more closely at the record of the Bush administration on weapons of mass destruction -- they were either lying or unable to face the truth. Note this isn't just the opinion of the radical left, it is the opinion of the Economist --not exactly a liberal magazine. And I would add that governments are organizations, and have assholes too. I also pointed to Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein as assholes -- both are liberal democrats. Assholes exist on both sides of aisle. I would also add that, although many of my fellow Democrats say that George Bush is an asshole, I disagree because -- although I don't like his policies -- everything I know about him suggests that he does not demean the people around him. and in fact is warm and caring person. Bolton's history is another story, and --if the congressional record is accurate -- is pretty well-documented. Note I also suggest that Steve Jobs is an asshole (albeit an effective one), another liberal Democrat. My standard is that a Certified Asshole is anyone who travels through life consistently demeaning other people... this is true of both Bolton and Steve Jobs if the press reports are accurate.

Bill C

In reading eNotAlone excerpts from THE NO A-HOLE-RULE, I found that focusing on John Bolton was rather out of the sphere of corporate mgmt. Not many corporations are charged with standing fast against terrorist sponsoring states, nuclear intimidation, slavery, pandemic disease, and ethnic cleansing (genocide) in any substantive way. Secondly I find quotiing declared radical leftists who consider lying as a tactical means of problem solving and anything from the Village Voice as suspect. The V-V has no more credibility in terms of international relations than Julius Streicher's editorials in Voelkischer Beobachter.

Bill C
Points East of West

Bob Sutton


Thanks. This is fantastic stuff in its simplicity. I do think of them as a good starting point, as some systems might be better measured and understood with different metrics.

Jason Yip

Have you read the 5 Golden Metrics blog entries over at LEAN Executive Blog?

Bob Sutton


Fascinating. The part about the other 31 is interesting because, at least in many systems, by picking a few things that are connected to everything else, the whole system improves. It reminds me of the Men's Wearhouse, where supporting the team selling environment is viewed as a key process that is tied to everything from employee satisfaction and retention, to the compensation system, to customer satisfaction.

Kent Blumberg

In my first six months as a young plant manager, my business got steadily worse. No matter how hard we tried, we just couldn't seem to make headway on any of the 34 priorities I had set for the organization. I didn't know I was creating an Otis Redding problem, but I most certainly was.

My boss, whose office was across the country, spent four days in the plant at about the six-month point in my time there. At the end of his visit, he sat me down to tell me what he had seen and heard. Rod told me that nobody in the plant understood me or what I stood for. He told me that 34 priorities meant I was failing to make tough decisions about what really mattered. He told me that if I didn't get focused, my management career would be short-lived.

From that painful moment on, I began to stress just three key priorities. By the end of my second six months, we had exceeded all three priority goals. Amazingly, we also made progress on most of the 31 other things, even though I stopped talking about them.

That experience taught me that Focus is a key piece of leading well.

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