Summary of The No Asshole Rule

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The No Asshole Rule book summary


7 Overall

7 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


Robert I. Sutton, Ph.D., professor of organizational behavior, teaches management science at Stanford University. He is a learned, respected academic. Is it odd that such an erudite, sophisticated individual would write a book with the word “asshole” in its title? Not according to Sutton. Yes, mean-spirited, nasty people are weasels, jerks and dirty rats. But the word that ideally summarizes such a person, Sutton says, is in his title, so that’s what he uses. He first employed it in a much-quoted piece in the Harvard Business Review. He expanded that article into this book, which explains why the business world seems to be knee deep in ratfinks, how to avoid them and how to deal with them when you must. getAbstract suggests that if you work in an office or hospital or bank or submarine or massage parlor, or on a cement crew, loading dock, oilrig or spaceship to Mars, you probably must deal with your share of – let’s call them jerks. Sutton’s book teaches you how to do so most effectively and not get too banged up in the process.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to determine if someone is a “certified asshole”;
  • What these jerks’ primary characteristics are;
  • What damage they cause;
  • Why companies should institute and enforce “no asshole” rules;
  • How to avoid clods or co-exist if you must; and
  • How to prevent becoming a boor.

About the Author

Robert I. Sutton, Ph.D., teaches management science at Stanford University and is the former co-director of its Center for Work, Technology and Organization. He is the author of Weird Ideas That Work.



“Certified Assholes”
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a brilliant genius and one of the world’s most visionary business leaders. He also is a “certified asshole.” At work, Jobs loves to rant, rave, scream and shout. Within the computer industry, “Steve-Jobs-the-asshole” stories are legendary. ...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

Contained in Knowledge Pack:

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category