How's Your AQ Today?






OK, so what’s an AQ?


The AQ process in action…

An example - AQ MBA Arsenal…

The new AQ MBA…

The Author on his own AQ…

from a retired teacher

from an executive…
What the Readers say…  

"Never was the raw naked truth so aptly expressed as in this earthy examination of the blatantly exposed underbelly of the modern corporation. This incisive satire could one day become a ribald classic, so pick up your copy and join the enlightened."

Tom Scrase, January 2004


HOW’S YOUR AQ TODAY? by Ed Rychkun

Want a fresh new humorous look at the business world we all live in? Take a tour of corporate life through Ed Rychkun’s view of his lifetime of climbing corporate ladders. This provocative and hilarious expose’ shows what really goes on behind those boardroom walls. It reveals the flip side of a company’s naked underbelly by showing how people universally conform to laws on how they feel about each other… called AQ’ism. Ed examines the social behaviour of corporate citizens and develops universal laws about how this feeling is quantified as an AQ… a measurement that can have a direct impact on how fast you can climb or fall from the corporate ladder. Ed tells it like it is, revealing how the real professionals… the executives, use a set of secret AQ Arsenals to hide their incompetence… and maintain their positions of power in the corporate hierarchy. You will immediately recognize a similarity with your own situation and derive humour from it. But beware… as one critic points out, "Never was the raw naked truth so aptly expressed as in this earthy examination of the blatantly exposed underbelly of the modern corporation".

OK, so what’s an AQ?    

An AQ is like an IQ mixed with the Peter Principle adding a new social dimension. It is a number from 0 to 100 that actually measures your attitude, hence relationship, towards others in the company. There is a secret mental list people keep that classifies others in the company as "assholes" for some reason. Yes, the AQ is an Asshole Quotient! How many people in your organization would you offer this title to? Do you just think it? Do you just suggest it? Or can you actually tell someone they are an asshole. Maybe you, yourself have treated someone like an asshole without even knowing it? Think about it for a moment. Would you ever believe that a number that measures how many people you think are assholes in the company could help you monitor and adjust your career progress? What do you do when the Peter Principle has taken hold? Read on…

The AQ LAWS?    

Here’s the basis to Ed’s years and years of research. He lays out ten AQ laws. Check these out and see if they have any relationship to your experience? See if these laws ring any bells?

LAW 1: There exists a natural tendency within any corporation to classify another as an Asshole
LAW 2: The % of Assholes within any company, at any point in time, is defined as one’s Asshole Quotient or AQ
LAW 3: Any new entry into a Corporation will tend to have an individual AQ of zero
LAW 4: An individual AQ, given sufficient time, will tend towards 100
LAW 5: Individual AQ’s have a tendency to rise according to a natural growth process
LAW 6: From the date of entry into a corporation, an individual sets out to prove that he or she is an Asshole
LAW 7: Sooner or later any individual will freely offer evidence to prove that he or she is an Asshole
LAW 8: AQ’s have a tendency to be reciprocal in motion
LAW 9: Your local AQ will rise to its level maximum within a period of 2 years
Law 10: Your level of responsibility must rise in direct relationship to your AQ level

The AQ process in action…      

Ed gathers this using his own experience over 30 years where he worked up the ladder in a variety of small and large corporations. Here various corporate roles from the lowest flunky to the highest position are used as Ed’s research laboratory of life. Actually living different roles of Supervisor, Manager, Vice President, CEO, Director, Chairman, and Founder, Ed presents a patchwork of social; and business intercourse that will make you laugh and cry. Here, he reveals a common denominator to all businesses he calls the AQ Phenomenon, or AQ’sm. Here is the basic idea: Have you ever felt that someone else in the company is an asshole? Have you ever wanted to call someone an asshole? Well, if you are like most, as you climb the corporate ladder, you will have steadily added to your secret AQ list. Not only that, you may have become more outspoken about communicating this word to others. Think about this:

When you are a Junior you can only think others are assholes
When you get to have a little seniority, you can infer it
When you are a supervisor you can call others assholes
When you become a manager you can tell others
When you become a VP you can treat others like assholes
When you become the president you must also be one

Obviously when you start out as a new employee, you love everybody so your AQ is 0! But add a bit of time and guess what? The number increases, right? Why? Somebody rubbed you the wrong way. You had a disagreement. The boss was unfair… Well, they just got placed on your secret AQ list. Ed clearly shows how to keep track of your AQ level and then reveals how these stages correlate with your position, or title. And when these get out of whack, you need to take actions to adjust the AQ or the position, otherwise you fall into what he calls AQ Disequilibrium… with dire consequences. Think about a VP who has a zero AQ? Do you think the superiors may say this VP does not show the right characteristic needed for the position? No "moxy" or "balls" so to speak? So you need to keep in equilibrium. How do you do this? Well, Ed reveals how the best practitioners… the executives… use their special bag of tricks called the AQ Arsenals to make sure they keep their positions and climb rapidly, even though they are completely incompetent.


This book will have you in stitches as Ed’s raw humour and brutal satire unfold through his choice of corporate characters in a small corporation. As they all bare their real character, you will clearly see what Ed means about the corporation being stripped naked. But the irony is that in this simple principle of AQ resides a new perspective of a corporation and how you relate to it. It is a new form of MBA… "Management By Assholes" that promises to give you a whole new approach to Business.

Yes, precisely! When you actually took a head count of how many assholes people tabulated in a company… and how many listed the Executive… it may lead you to the conclusion that the company is actually run by Assholes! Well, that’s not so bad. It is just the way it is. All you need to do is learn their tricks and you also head for the same esteemed positions. Yes, they have their unwritten Arsenals… an appropriate name… and there are six of these. That’s the new MBA course. Ed gives you a taste of the Defensive, Offensive, Aversive, Trouble Makers, Cultural and Manipulators arsenals. Sound bad? It is. But not if you know what’s going on and how to deploy these yourself. You soon come to realize that executives, and other corporate climbers for that matter, forget their original training, fall victim to the Peter Principle then learn new things you never read about to keep control and position… the Arsenals... it is the AQ MBA course.

Here’s an example of the AQ MBA Arsenal…    

 Remember, it’s all in good fun but it’s still true. You will recognize these instantly when you see what’s happening. It may make you laugh but you will take a new perspective of corporate life. Here is an example I call one of the tactics the PROBE, part of the OFFENSIVE Arsenal. Picture a fantastic presentation of new technology by a new manager. The room quiets and the mean VP of Finance says: "You have not convinced me there are any material benefits to the company." That is a PROBE launched by him to probe how ‘healthy’ this new kid is. It also makes the VP look "bottom line conscious", impressing the CEO. What does the shocked manager do? Well, he can start another explanation, only to get the same response, get infuriated and lose credibility, or he can haul out another trick form the DEFENSIVE Arsenal, called the Counter: "Sir, I spent a full 10 minutes on these benefits but if you are having difficulty understanding them, rather than waste the other people’s time, let us set up a 30 minute session where I can explain it more clearly to you." Here’s another one VP’s like to use… called the ATTACK from the OFFENSIVE Arsenal: "I noticed that there are two numbers in the 50 page report that don’t add up. How can we have any confidence in the rest of the material you presented?" Here’s the AQ MBA answer, using a DEFLECTION: "Well, sir, I noticed this morning but it was too late to change it as it has no material effect on anything so I am surprised you brought it up. My staff has been working 18 hours a day for weeks to get it done so it could be presented to you. Incidentally, I also had the numbers checked by your staff."

About the Author on his own AQ…     

  Ed Rychkun is an avid outdoorsman and prolific writer, having written 12 books in the last decade. He began his career in business in the 70’s after graduating from University in Mathematics. "I only graduated to get out of that place," Ed says, "I actually spent 8 years out there in the ‘brain factory’ trying everything I thought was useful, but it was only some excursions in geology and computers that got me my first serious job with a company now called Placer Dome. From there on things got serious and a career path of 14 years got me through senior positions and into management. There wasn’t a hell of a lot of stuff that the brain factory, particularly business courses, that were useful but I just kept groping for more bucks and looking for bigger company titles to hang out with. I didn’t know it at the time but my AQ was at work…" Ed moved on to a small company as VP of Marketing and Business Development, but that was short lived. "I got to be quite an expert in computer techniques and became well published so a chance came up to test my skills with Canada’s largest Coal Company… it seems that their massive computer group was in what I now know as Asshole Saturation… total incompetence… yes total! They needed to be purged and a new direction taken so I took up the calling." Well, Ed took almost 5 years to rise in the corporate echelon as Director of Information Service. "It was time to move on," Ed says, "It was a lucky thing because the characters in these board meeting were really getting to me… my AQ was getting too high it seems. It was here that I began to formulate a theory about the AQ." A new challenge took Ed to South Africa as a Senior Advisor to IBM. "This really put an interesting twist on the Executive and Management," Ed recalls, "These guys were a new breed… experts of a new kind… I watched and learned a lot in their boardrooms. By this time, my AQ was telling me to scoot so I did." So Ed moved to a small computer company and headed for the ultimate spot… CEO and Director. "I burned almost a decade here… thought I had it all figured out but no… there was the AQ at work again even at this elevation in a company!" It was then that Ed decided to start writing and ended up publishing 12 books on fishing, recreation, how to publish and now the ultimate work… the AQ. "I needed this to keep sane, then actually ended up starting my own Publishing and Business Consulting enterprise. It was this time period where I could finally test my AQ theories all the way through the complete gauntlet right through founder, partner, chairman of a Private Offshore Bank and many other titles. I had run the gauntlet of business," Ed reports, "it was time to settle down, look back and see what I had learned." Ed now writes books, is a business entrepreneur and enjoys the outdoors. "I don’t like having to create assholes so in my business now, there is only me… that’s about the only way to solve this AQ problem."

A Critique written by Tom Scrase, a retired teacher…

"John Keats once said: ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty.’ In such context never was the raw naked truth so aptly expressed as in this earthy examination of the blatantly exposed underbelly of the modern corporation. Sometimes disrespectful, often rude, and frequently crude, Ed Rychkun gleefully strips the veneer from the mosaic, piece by grisly piece, candidly revealing the true essence of corporate life. With tongue in cheek he insightfully pulls upon a lifetime of personal experience in order to slice and dice company structure to its basic bare bones. Not unlike the sudden eruption of an impacted wisdom tooth the book stunningly rocks the reader with the beauty of its wisdom. Beneath the layers of cynicism and satire is found the matrix, the ultimate truth; that the planet is literally overrun with assholes. Whether big or small they all have one prime commonality; an attribute called the AQ, or asshole quotient. It is this vital factor, then, that permeates corporations at all levels and initiates an ever changing kaleidoscope of dynamic inter-relationships, whose common denominator is basic self interest."

"Projecting a definite anal exuberance, augmented by a liberal dosage of drawings, cartoons, graphs and statistics the text stimulates the "been there, done that" syndrome in all of us. Anyone who has ever been exposed to the slings and arrows of the corporate marketplace can readily relate to the stereotypical characters so graphically presented, and recognize, with a certain degree of glee, individuals from their own personal experience. This is the fundamental power of the book; the readers immediate and continuing realization that this is no Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tale-it is the way of the real world, one he himself has tasted and found wanting. Make no mistake, this vision pulls no punches. Unlike some literature it does not pussyfoot around the truth by glossing it over with fancy euphemisms. Potentially, then, the success of climbing up the corporate ladder is largely determined by size; the bigger the A-Q the higher ascent, from worker, to middle management, to executive. Conversely not all are successful in this frequently frantic pecking order, for there are many skills and techniques, most not taught at school that must be mastered. Whether offensive or defensive these strategies are generally dependent on an individual’s particular situation and his relative position in the company. This being said it appears that the biggest assholes reside in upper management, where they shit the most and produce the least. This incisive satire could one day become a ribald classic, so pick up your copy and join the enlightened."

A Critique written by Jim Green, an executive…    

“This riveting non-fiction work deals with how corporations function, how the players treat each other and how one really climbs the corporate ladder. Rychkun's question How's Your AQ Today? sets the stage for a great read. No one is exempt from Rychkun's inky dagger as he graphically tells us why many businesses and business people suffocate and lose their humanity. From the lowest man or women on the totem pole to the top of the heap, Rychkun's book provokes and invokes us with the thought and question - Are we all just a bunch of assholes? With his telltale scenarios, cartoons, and some real-life corporate experiences, Rychkun informs and entertains us while he bares the backside of the corporate world. A must read.”

Jim Green, CEO Challenge Entertainment Corp, Jan 2004

What the Readers say…

"This book is funny! It will have you giggling at the characters in this book. What is so funny is how this look at corporate life is so true, yet funny. The book has a tendency to draw the humour out of corporate life and give you a new perspective. The satire is superb."

"You really want to get this one! I love the concept of MBA being ‘Management By Assholes’. Here’s an author that really tells it like it is. You start out thinking this is pretty funny, then you begin to relate it to your own company and realize it is true, then you start to realize, hey, I can use this stuff!"

"This is a very humorous book that promises to change your attitude towards corporate life. You will never know when you are in satire or brutal reality."



All rights reserved. The AQ Principleã and related names including AQä, AQ’ismä, AQ Disequilibriumä, Laws of AQ’ismä, AQ Meterä, AQ Arsenalsä, and AQ-MBAä are copyrighted Trade Names and cannot be used without formal written permission of Ed Rychkun.


This Page Last Updated: January 2013

Copyright 2008