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I have to deal with three immature, tyrannical bosses. None of them can handle the authority they've been given. Each is abusive to the workers. We're sick of it. I cannot talk with any of them about their behavior, because they rant and shout -often in front of customers. Trusting any of them with authority is like giving a child a hand grenade. I'm willing to settle on a damn dishwashing job in order to get out from under their thumbs. I refuse to take this anymore. I quit and I'm taking my productivity with me.

David Michael

There was a saying in my last career "only a judge can tell another judge that they are being an a$$h0le". The point is, you cannot tell your boss, you have to find another boss from another company to tell your boss. Bad behavior can rarely be corrected from below the social strata. Only a peer has the cred to be candid without repercussions.


This book is a good idea to have in your office if you are the boss, but as for wanting to give it to your boss, I would advise against it unless that person has a personality that closely resembles that of the character Michael Scott from the TV show The Office played by Steven Correl. No Boss wants to think they are what the title suggests. And if they do, they are more likely to act that way, and then nobody wins.


I have been coming back and forth to this post and debating on whether or not I should comment, but I just can't resist. I am in a situation right now where I would LOVE to bring that book to the office and give a copy to my two bosses, both of whom view themselves as Gods and everyone else around them as incompetent peasants. It's actually quite amusing to watch them on a daily basis, but I would never give them a copy of the book because it would be a one-way ticket down to the unemployment office for me. I can, however, privately appreciate the book and know that a person cannot truly be considered a leader if he or she does not have the respect of others. I don't ever wish a business to do poorly, but I believe that it is only as strong as those in which are employed there. If you have a company of unhappy workers, than it is only a matter of time before the losses are greater than the profits...

Stephanie Cowan

What a timely post! Just today I was seriously considering bringing The No Asshole Rule to work for mhy boss--not as a personal condemnation, but just because I think aggression and lack of empathy get confused for assertive, effective management too often in my company. Maybe not such a good idea!

Daniel Christadoss

I believe we are all assholes at some point or other. Every organization needs their house assholes. And being an asshole is relative depending on the culture of the organization.But I do agree that the less assholes we have the better off we are. Assholes have their place in society, they could stir up and light a fire under assholes.

Brian Dear

Bob, do you respond to emails?

I have sent you two, but no reply so far. I would sure appreciate a reply when you get a chance.

pd cooling

I agree Bob is a fantastic auther,
great book, great post, thank you.

Kent Blumberg


Lighten up!!

Bob is a wonderful author (see his other books, too - especially "Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense"). He writes with passion and with evidence. A rare coupling of skills, in my opinion.

Like any other great author, Bob has editors who help ensure his formal publications are perfect. The beautiful thing about blogs is that they are not perfect. They represent what authors are thinking in the moment. I can put up with a few typos hear and their for the privilege of reading Bob's work in real time.

You might enjoy picking up "The No Asshole Rule" and taking the self-test.


air conditioning maintenance

I am a strong believer in if you don't like change it or move on. Lets just hope it changes in the right direction.

DC Jobs

In general our corporate culture in America is sick. The fact that people are trying to reform it, is a good thing.

The reality is that anytime we try to change things people will often react violently and there will be collateral damage.

I don't think this means we should not try to change dysfunctional systems. Rather we should be aware of the likelihood of such unintended damage and actively seek to minimize it.


I wanted so badly to give this to my former asshole boss. But being the asshole that he was, he would have said I was the asshole and fired me for it. Now that I don't work for him any longer, I want to mail it to him. I fear that the guy is such an asshole that he will find some way to sue me for it.
This guy has a new job and is supposedly a "manager". I really feel sorry for his new employees.

Kaye Surman

I have not yet read the book, it's on order from my book store. However, the book seems to have a 'smoking gun' effect. The bookstore sales person refused to verbalize the title, instead she had me acknowledge the book on her computer. Suffice to say, it was a wonderful laugh! I look forward to reading and applying as much as I can of the book to my circumstance.

Bob Sutton


I appreciate the feedback and sorry I wrote this without proofreading. Next time, I will slow down a little. I hope I fixed all the errors.



Since the author has to approve the comments I'm guessing the odds are not good that this one will appear. In case it does I feel obliged to share that the numerous errors in choice of words (such as waiving instead of waving) and typos (such as "But th there are also dangers . . " were distracting enough to destroy the message . . . particularly since this apparently is from a professional writer - which I do not claim to be.

C. K. Gunsalus

I recommend your book at every leadership workshop I give, and do so both as a management tool so participants have the concepts firmly in their heads, and ALSO as a self-monitoring device. I explain that in about 85% of the papers from MBA students in my Leadership and Ethics course, where your book is a basic text, consider whether the writer has behaved badly in ways the book covers. The implicit suggestion is that these are thoughts worth entertaining on the way to being a better leader. In this way, it's not personal to any one participant, and yet the issues are raised. I also regularly use your book in my work with dysfunctional groups, usually presenting it as containing useful concepts we should discuss. A lot of this--in my settings which are different than those you're discussing--depends so much on the framing. Asking questions is always better than making charges.


I feel bad that some people lost their jobs, but seriously, how many assholes do you know that would not react when someone infers...

By their very nature, they will react like an...asshole.

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