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“Hire no jerks” as a goal for a law department, and permit no jerk behavior

The McKinsey Quarterly, 2007 No. 2, at 31, gives examples of jerks and how some companies explicitly try to avoid hiring or keeping them. Some of the undesirable actions include blind copying, politics, parochialism, silos, and playing games.

Robert Sutton, a professor at Stanford University and the author of the article, lists his dirty dozen of jerk behavior: personal insults, invading coworkers personal territory, uninvited physical contact, threats and intimidation both verbal and nonverbal, sarcastic jokes and teasing to insult, withering e-mails, status slaps intended to humiliate victims, public shaming or status degradation rituals, rude interruptions, two-faced attacks, dirty looks, treating people as if they were invisible.

The article observes what is well known: high status occupations, such as doctors and lawyers, are notorious for egocentric and jerk behavior. Jerks are bullies and cruel and law departments should root them out.

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