Sign up for my mailing list!

Get updates and my newsletter about new books, new stuff on innovation and changing organizations for the better, and more!

  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Twitter Icon

© BOB SUTTON  2018

View our privacy policy

Wall Street
Best Seller


How to spread something good, without messing it up, or your messing up your team or organization.

In Scaling Up Excellence, bestselling author Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague Huggy Rao tackle a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up farther, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint. Sutton and Rao have devoted much of the last decade to uncovering what it takes to build and uncover pockets of exemplary performance, to help spread them, and to keep recharging organizations with ever better work practices. Drawing on inside accounts and case studies and academic research from a wealth of industries – including start-ups, pharmaceuticals, airlines, retail, financial services, high-tech, education, non-profits, government, and healthcare — Sutton and Rao identify the key scaling challenges that confront every organization.


What does it feel like to work for you?  Are you in tune with the people you lead?

If you are a boss who wants to do great work, what can you do about it? Good Boss, Bad Boss is devoted to answering that question. Stanford Professor Robert Sutton weaves together the best psychological and management research with compelling stories and cases to reveal the mindset and moves of the best (and worst) bosses. This book was inspired by the deluge of emails, research, phone calls, and conversations that Dr. Sutton experienced after publishing his blockbuster bestseller The No Asshole Rule. He realized that most of these stories and studies swirled around a central figure in every workplace: THE BOSS. Sutton discovered that most bosses – and their followers – wanted a lot more than just a jerk-free workplace. They aspired to become (or work for) an all-around great boss, with the skill and grit to inspire great work, commitment, and dignity among their charges.


"Help, I'm dealing with an asshole! What can I do?" 
Since my book The No Asshole Rule became a bestseller a decade ago , I’ve heard this question asked in a thousand different ways. The Asshole Survival Guide provides the best advice I can muster for people who are feeling oppressed, demeaned, or disrespected by assholes. I start with diagnosis---what kind of asshole problem, exactly, are you dealing with? Then I provide field-tested, evidence-based, and sometimes surprising strategies aimed at specific goals--avoiding assholes, outwitting them, disarming them, sending them packing, and developing protective psychological armor.  And I show readers how to look inward and to stifle their own inner jackass.  I wrote this book to help you develop an outlook and personal plan to help you preserve the sanity in your work life, and to stop all those perfectly good days from being ruined by some jerk.

In U.S.:
In U.K.:
In Canada:


Why assholes can ruin your workplace and how to build a more civilized team or organization.  Over 800,000 copies in print in more than 20 languages

Stanford Professor Robert Sutton shows how assholes weren’t just an office nuisance, but a serious and costly threat to corporate success and employee health. He reveals the huge TCA (Total Cost of Assholes) in today’s organizations. He shows how to spot an asshole (hint: they are addicted to rude interruptions and subtle putdowns, and enjoy using “sarcastic jokes” and “teasing” as “insult delivery systems”), and provides a “self-test” to determine whether you deserve to be branded as a “certified asshole.” And he offers tips that you can use to keep your “inner jerk” from rearing its ugly head. Sutton then uses in-depth research and analysis to show how managers can eliminate mean-spirited behavior (while positively channeling some of the virtues of assholes) to build sane and productive workplaces. 


Use evidence to make decisions and manage your team or organization; not just intuition, imitation, or industry myths.

The best organizations have the best talent. . . Financial incentives drive company performance. . . Firms must change or die. Popular axioms like these drive business decisions every day. Yet too much common management “wisdom” isn’t wise at all—but, instead, flawed knowledge based on “best practices” that are actually poor, incomplete, or outright obsolete. Worse, legions of managers use this dubious knowledge to make decisions that are hazardous to organizational health.


Find some happy people and get them to fight.  Hire people who make you uncomfortable.  Reward success and failure, punish inaction.  These and other ideas might make you squirm, but they spark innovation, too.

Creativity, new ideas, innovation — in any age they are keys to success, but in today’s whirlwind economy they are essential for survival itself. Yet, as Robert Sutton explains, the standard rules of business behavior and management are precisely the opposite of what it takes to build an innovative company. We are told to hire people who will fit in; to train them extensively; and to work to instill a corporate culture in every employee. In fact, in order to foster creativity, we should hire misfits, goad them to fight, and pay them to defy convention and undermine the prevailing culture. Weird Ideas That Work codifies these and other proven counterintuitive ideas to help you turn your workplace from staid and safe to wild and woolly — and creative.


How leaders and teams can turn knowledge into organizational action.  Selected for Jack Covert's and Todd Sattersten’s book The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.

Why are there so many gaps between what firms know they should do and what they actually do? Why do so many companies fail to implement the experience and insight they’ve worked so hard to acquire? The Knowing-Doing Gap is the first book to confront the challenge of turning knowledge about how to improve performance into actions that produce measurable results. Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton, well-known authors and teachers, identify the causes of the knowing-doing gap and explain how to close it. The message is clear–firms that turn knowledge into action avoid the “smart talk trap.” Executives must use plans, analysis, meetings, and presentations to inspire deeds, not as substitutes for action. Companies that act on their knowledge also eliminate fear, abolish destructive internal competition, measure what matters, and promote leaders who understand the work people do in their firms. The authors use examples from dozens of firms that show how some overcome the knowing-doing gap, why others try but fail, and how still others avoid the gap in the first place. The Knowing-Doing Gap is sure to resonate with executives everywhere who struggle daily to make their firms both know and do what they know. It is a refreshingly candid, useful, and realistic guide for improving performance in today’s business.