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Aruba, November 25, 2015 - By most accounts the new biopic of Steve Jobs is an accurate portrayal of a man who shouted down colleagues at meetings, was visibly impatient and dismissive of others' contributions... and yet he is lauded as perhaps the most successful entrepreneur of his generation.

So does being rude, ruthless and self-absorbed give you an advantage when it comes to getting ahead in business? Quite the reverse, according to Professor Christine Porath, at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. "I wouldn't recommend people try to emulate Steve Jobs' style," she says. In her research, stretching back more than 20 years, respondents told her they worked less hard if managers were rude to them. In lab studies students given the brush-off by a professor were subsequently less successful at word puzzles.

She says uncivil behaviour from bosses and colleagues affects sickness rate and mental health, stifles creativity and above all affects staff retention. None of which reflects well on those in charge. "The thing I hear a lot is - 'if I yell at them, doesn't it light a fire under them and I'll get more short term results?' "But it robs people of focus and they don't perform. Cognitively you don't gain anything and you might lose out." And she points out that even Steve Jobs mellowed when he returned for his second, and more successful, stint at Apple.

The boss
David Rawlinson, founder of Restaurant Property, which manages, sales and leases of restaurant sites in London, employs nine people and says sometimes it pays not to be nice."I do think you need to know when to be firm with people," he says. "Losing your temper is a very powerful motivator sometimes and that is something I have had to do in the past," he says. "I don't enjoy doing it and it's something I think you should use as a final straw," he adds. Despite occasionally showing he is angry, he says he is mostly nice. Once a month he takes all his employees out to "get drunk, have a good time, get to know each other".