Type A Is For A$$hole

type A personalitySent: September 17

From: CEO

To: Exec. Team

Subject: Anti-Harassment Training

OK, guys,

It’s that time of year again that we have to sit through listening to HR tell us how we’re supposed to behave. So, show up, behave, and put your time in. I don’t expect any of you to fail this little exercise!

Remember, leaders lead, and losers don’t. Which one are you?!!

Your Boss

From the Desk of a Sick-of-This-Crap CEO

Realistically, I moved up through the ranks the hard way in this organization. No time for this pansy-assed pussyfooting around with everyone’s feelings. Men were men, women were women and if you can take over a room and perform, you move to the top of the food chain. If you’re at the bottom, you’re where you should be.

No time to give a hand down because you’re always reaching for that next rung up. The only reason to look behind you is to make sure no little f’er is hanging on your coattail trying to get a ride up. Cut that sucker off immediately. They provide absolutely no benefit to you if they’re not willing to make it on their own.

I had to schedule this stupid HR thing because of the complaints. Jesus. In my day you just sucked it up. I don’t have a problem with anyone’s race, ethnicity, gender, or anything else, for that matter, except lack of balls. If you don’t have balls, you don’t belong in leadership.

Kill or be killed, and NEVER show any sign of weakness. That’s why I hate these stupid things because it’s like we’re supposed to be soft and cuddly to all these losers who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.

I did take this up with the board but got shot down because of that last little complaint against me. They said I was a little “too aggressive” in telling our female sales manager what I thought of her piss-poor performance. What was I supposed to tell her? She FAILED!! We will not be meeting our numbers this quarter, and bonuses are on the line, so it’s on her!! Unfortunately, the board had to settle with her when she left after our meeting, and they’re holding me accountable for it. Such pushovers.

Leadership is all about taking charge, no matter what. Show weakness and you lose. Period. There is not one of my Harvard classmates who would have any respect for me if I was passive. Even passive-aggressive is for wussies.

If you want to show leadership, show strength! Be out front with it! Call people out when they don’t perform, and you’ll be respected. My team respects me. In fact, they probably fear me, which is a good thing. You need to keep people on their toes, never knowing where you stand, so they are always looking for praise or favor. That’s strength.

I teach all my leaders to be tough, to take a stand, and to never back down. Even when faced with evidence that would show you were wrong—DON’T BACK DOWN!! They’ll come after you like a pack of hyenas if you do. This was how I learned how to be a leader and how I became the successful CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Why should I look in the mirror or change now?

This is how they should teach these damn HR seminars: tough, muddier leadership. Those who don’t survive weren’t meant to be in the race. Period.


“Type A” usually refers to go-getters, the people who can handle a lot and those who want to win. These traits are good for a team; however, the in-your-face asshole is not good. No one responds well to working with or working for this type of person. If you have one on your team and can’t point out to them the error of their ways, point them to the door.

If you are the leader of the team, it’s great to be tough. It’s also great to listen and be willing to be wrong. Great leaders look at all sides of the Rubik’s Cube to see the best way to put it together, not just their way. When you have an asshole on the team, good players will usually try to play nice with them or even try to get them to come over to the light.

A true asshole, like our CEO above, will crush them like a bug. He will perceive their invitation as a sign of weakness and take a shot at them. Someone who has learned from an example like this might be redeemable. If they can be persuaded to see a different way to get what they want, one that involves teamwork, cooperation, and collaboration, they might work out. If not, they’re an asshole and need to be removed from the team—like yesterday.

Building a great team starts with talent and requires looking for a fit that aligns with the company’s values. You don’t all need to be carbon copies of one another. In fact, it’s best if there is diversity. Diversity breeds innovation and equality, which then provides opportunities for all. Assholes love other assholes because it’s like looking in the mirror and loving what they see: themselves. Assholes never grow, they just replicate like cockroaches, and then it’s time for the exterminator.

Good Type As are driven, hard-working, talented individuals who look out for the team as much as they look out for themselves. Type A assholes are always going to be a bad fit for a team—and usually lead to lawsuits—with time and money wasted on someone who was never going to be a team player. Type A assholes are always a team of one.

To purchase a copy of How (NOT) to Build a Great Team click here.