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Is Your Boss a Certified Brasshole? Take the BRASS Quiz

The higher the score, the worse your boss. If your boss is really bad, if he or she scores “true” on 15 or more items, then you have the misfortune of working for a certified brasshole.

Devil Chair

Frequent readers of this blog know that one of the most successful tools, or if you prefer, PR gimmicks, we did for The No Asshole Rule was an online quiz called the ARSE, the Asshole Rating Self-Exam. This is a 24 item quiz to determine if you are a certified asshole. Approximately 250,000 people have completed it so far, and I still have people come up to (or email me) and say things like “I scored a 2, I am very good” or “I got a 9, I am borderline, watch out.” The items on ARSE appeared in a book, but the name was added by Guy Kawasaki and he recruited the wonderful folks at Electric Pulp to develop an online version.

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In the spirit of the ARSE–and once again with some great coaching from Guy–I have developed the BRASS, the Boss Reality Assessment Survey System (I know it is dumb spelled out, in fact if you have a better idea, let me know… one suggestion that I kind of liked was “Bob’s Roughly Accurate Superior Survey”). The 20 items on the BRASS draw on major themes from Good Boss, Bad Boss, which are used to rate your boss on items including:

Is so pushy and overbearing that it drives us nuts

Lacks confidence in his or her ability to lead others

Doesn’t have our backs, won’t go to bat for us, and doesn’t protect us from the idiocy that rains down from on high

Leaves me feeling drained and de-energized after even a short conversation.

Is a chronic credit hog.

The higher the score, the worse your boss. If your boss is really bad, if he or she scores “true” on 15 or more items like these, then you have the misfortune of working for a certified brasshole. And if your boss scores below five, my advice is that you better treat him or her right, because one like that is hard to find!

Reprinted from Work Matters

Robert I. Sutton, PhD is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. His latest book is Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…and Survive the Worst. His previous book is The New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. Follow him at twitter.com/work_matters.

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About the author

Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford and a Professor of Organizational Behavior, by courtesy, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Sutton studies innovation, leaders and bosses, evidence-based management, the links between knowledge and organizational action, and workplace civility

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