The No Complaining Rule – Jon Gordon

I’ve never been a fan of what I call the “read it during your flight” genre. “The One Minute Manager” and it’s ilk have always left me unsatisfied. Had I realized that “The No Complaining Rule” was one of these I would have passed on it.

I tend to have two arguments with the style. The first is that the allegory is usually patronizingly shallow; the second, that if the subject is worthwhile it merits being addressed in greater depth than the format allows. The fact is that I didn’t know, and I found myself complaining a lot, so I picked it up.

Unfortunately, for me, this book fails on both counts. There is good information on the business costs of negativity and some tactics for implementing the no complaining rule in a workplace. However, I felt the presentation made the data appear trite and left me most aware of the impracticality of broaching the subject at my office.

I was able to read the book across two lunchtime walks. Ultimately I would have preferred a more thorough treatment in a longer book or a brief presentation of the facts in a blog post.

If you’re a fan of the genre there are certainly redeeming qualities that would make it a good read for you. I’ve already mentioned the quality information on the costs of negativity and I think that really has value. There is also an assessment at the end of the book that could easily be made into an online survey for your user group. The steps for implementation provide a map for trying the program at your workplace and perhaps someone in a position of more power (or less cynicism) than me could try it out.

All in all it seemed far-fetched and I never bought into it. This doesn’t make it a bad book, but certainly not for me.


Please note that the purchase image above is an affiliate link. I’m not recommending the book, but this link is the easiest way to let people see what I’m talking about (I also need to learn what I’m doing with these links).


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