This is one of the rare management books that has a high signal to ratio. Most of them usually have one or two points to make and fill the rest of the book with anecdotes and examples to stretch the book.

The main thesis of the book is to avoid stupidity. 
  • We spend a lot of time learning what to do. We don't spend enough time learning what to stop. 
You need to learn what to stop doing, along with learning what to do more. Know when to stop.
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The book lists twenty annoying habits. They are as follows.
  1. Winning too much: Know when it matters, when it doesn't, and when it's totally beside the point. 
  2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
  3. Passing judgement: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them. 
  4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sharp and witty. 
  5. Starting with "No", "But", or "However": To suggest subtly, "I'm right. You're wrong." 
  6. Telling the world how smart we are. (Personally, I suffer from this and seriously need to stop.)
  7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool. 
  8. Negativity, or "Let me explain why that won't work": The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren't asked. 
  9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information to maintain an advantage over others. 
  10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward. 
  11. Claiming credit that we don't deserve.
  12. Making excuses.
  13. Clinging to the past.
  14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly. 
  15. Refusing to express regret.
  16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues. 
  17. Failing to express gratitude. The most basic form of bad manners. 
  18. Punishing the messenger. The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us.
  19. Blaming others, except ourselves. 
  20. An excessive need to be "me": Hold in high regard our faults as virtues simply because they're who we are.