Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Proper Role of a Subordinate (Cont)

A while back I blogged about the proper role of a subordinate in the context of Suskind's "Confidence Men," suggesting Geithner slow-walked an Obama decision and Obama's subordinates didn't always jump to.

I'm now reading "Steve Jobs", by Isaacson which includes an anecdote praising Steve's subordinates for refusing to obey his decision:
"Veterans of the Mac team had learned that they could stand upto Jobs.  If they knew what they were talking about, he would tolerate the pushback, even admire it.  By 1983 those most familiar with his reality distortion field had discovered something further: They could, if necessary, just quietly disregard what he decreed.  If they turned out to be right, he would appreaicte their renegade attitude and willingness to ignore authority.  After all, that's what he did." page 145
 The anecdote relates to the selection of the disk drive provider for the Mac (eventually Sony, rather than the upstart manufacturer Jobs said to use).

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