20140619-Boss-Yelling-at-EmployeeAfter surviving one of the worst years I’ve had with the company since the merger, I can relate to the concepts and guidance in this book. If you prefer to take the high-road and not lower yourself to the level or an asshole manager, I highly recommend this book.

Have you met or worked with an asshole? Here is the authors test:

  • Test One – After talking to the alleged asshole, does the “target” feel oppressed, humiliated, de-energized, or belittled by the person? In particular does the target feel worse about him or herself?
  • Test Two – Does the alleged asshole aim his or her venom at people who are less powerful than at those people who are more powerful?

The following is an excepts from Amazon:

“Sutton (Weird Ideas that Work), a professor of management science at Stanford University, argues that assholes—those who deliberately make co-workers feel bad about themselves and who focus their aggression on the less powerful—poison the work environment, decrease productivity, induce qualified employees to quit and therefore are detrimental to businesses, regardless of their individual effectiveness. He also makes the solution plain: they have to go.”

What I also like about this book is that is gives you advice on how not to become an asshole as a result of the abuse you’ve experienced.

My experience with a manager drove the message of this book home! The manager in question was hired earlier this year and to my amazement doesn’t have a management background or skills for the role! What was senior management thinking? He used abusive tactics to motivate people and manipulated facts to protect himself which lead to several resignations – half the practice resigned. He was eventually fired after 12 months but the loser that hire him is still there! This book helped give me gain perspective (in addition to reaching out to colleagues that had been through this sort of thing as well). What did I learn? Document everything, work around assholes and lower your expectations.