No Jerks

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On LeadershipChat this week, we’re going to discuss The Difficult Follower. How do you lead someone who is being – shall we say – recalcitrant about the desired direction?

Now my wise and analytical co-moderator Lisa Petrilli has done a wonderful job with her blog post outlining the various reasons why there might be follower-difficulty. This leaves me free to have a little fun.

So, let’s talk about jerks. Specifically, ZT4J (Zero Tolerance 4 Jerks).

On Twitter a few days back, a blog post was written highlighting this wonderful job description for an engineering position at Hubspot (Boston area). Here are the “no jerk” clauses:

– Strict “no jerks” rules. You won’t have to work with “that guy” (or girl)…

– HubSpot has a strict NO JERKS policy; our culture is fantastic. We have nearly ZERO turnover in three years of engineering…

– We don’t hire jerks. Period. If your normal disposition is to be negative and cranky, and it can’t be explained by a temporary lack of caffeine, you won’t fit in at HubSpot. We’re intense at HubSpot, but it’s a good intense. The reason for the “no jerks” rule is simple — for those of us that are not jerks, working with jerks is a whole lot of suckiness. Life is short. Why work with jerks?

Now, I’m not looking for a job, but if I were, I’d want to look long and hard at Hubspot. Because they know that a big part of troublesome work environments is…you guessed it…jerks. Of course, maybe on that basis I wouldn’t even be allowed in the front door. Hmmmm…

Now, I realize that there can be other reasons for difficulty in leader-follower relationships, and Lisa has done a great job outlining those. But sometimes you’ve just got to call it like it is. If you’re a jerk, you should be put out to the street until you learn not to be a jerk. Perhaps more companies would be far better off if they emphasized ZT for toxic behavior and affect instead of tolerating bad apples because of stupid HR rules. But as Hubspot knows, this is a hiring issue. Put a well-designed jerk screen on the front door, and you’ll  go a long way toward increasing company productivity.

ZT4J. It’s the new quota system!

Join us for an enlightening discussion on #LeadershipChat Tuesday nights on Twitter, at 8 pm ET!

UPDATE: interesting NY Times article on the “No Jerks” theme.

UPDATE: transcript from the LeadershipChat session on The Difficult Follower


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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

3 Responses to No Jerks

  1. Debra Ellis says:


    I think ZT4J should be a new hashtag. We could use it to out all of the jerks.

  2. I have to say, that is one of the benefits of working for myself – the only jerk in the room is me without caffeine 😉 But, I will say, I have had my fair share of jerks for client. Now that things have gotten busier and steadier though I have implemented a ZT4J policy when it comes to my clients 😉

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention No Jerks « Connection Agent --

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