My apologies for the title. I’m not one to use profanity or slang that is so common these days. Occassionally, I’ll use the a-hole word as a term of endearment for my husband. Funny how easy it is to get his attention when I call him that…
Robert Sutton is a great author of business books and a professor at Stanford. I’ve read most of his books, and I’m sure many of you have too: The Knowing Doing Gap, Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense, and Weird Ideas That Work: 11 1/2 Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation.
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t is his latest book. I suggest you read about it on Bob Sutton’s blog, Work Matters. He discusses why he used the strong language in the title and in the content. I think he has a good point. The a-word will sell more books and get the attention of people who need to read his ideas.
What’s your opinion on using strong language that maybe shocks but delivers? Would you use it in a book title, newsletter heading, or blog post? I left a comment to describe my objection to calling people assholes when you don’t agree with them or like them: it makes it too easy to lump people into good guys vs bad guys.
Not unlike what our political leaders do all the time, and we all know the consequences of that. At home it leads to slanderous ads on TV and internationally it leads to war and other conspiracies.
I’m not saying there aren’t real assholes out there; but I think it helps to see people as acting like assholes, rather than being ones. It’s the idea of being able to change the things you can, rather than trying to change the things you can’t. We are all capable of bad behavior, and most of us are willing to act better. Name calling or lumping them into baskets will not lead to solving problems.
What’s your opinion on this? I’m not taking a moral high-ground here, but I’m looking at the consequences. Hopefully, and expectedly, Sutton addresses this issue in the book. I’m ordering it today.