Visit to discover Indian blogs DISCREET ENVISAGEMENT: TECHLAND TYRANTS - A perspective on those who made BIG

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TECHLAND TYRANTS - A perspective on those who made BIG

Read an intresting publishing in todays newspaper where the Leadership style of 2 of the most powerful leaders of 2 of the most successful companies was discussed.
Steve Jobs - APPLE & Bill Gates - MICROSOFT.

Just have a read..

compiled by Harsh Vora, published in PUNE MIRROR dated 18th May 2011

You think your boss is finicky the world’s most-popular nerds Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are known for their unforgiving autocratic management style. Here’s a look


In his mid-blue Levis and black turtleneck tee, Steve Jobs looks almost harmless. It’s easy to picture him at the Apple Campus in California the Wonkas chocolate factory of the tech world working on the next wonder device and politely marshaling his engineers.This, however, may be far from the reality.

A recent article by Fortune magazine, details how one of the most successful and secretive companies operates. It reveals that the Apple CEO and enigmatic tech visionary is a corporate dictator, who doesn’t settle for anything less than perfection. Failures are anathema to him. Here are some insights into his autocratic management style.

Jobs, the article by Adam Lashinsky says, makes every critical decision at Apple and oodles of seemingly non-critical ones, too.From the design of buses that ferry staff members to and from San Francisco to the kind of food served in the cafeteria it’s his call. He makes sure that his approach to product design is shared by staff.

In 2008, Apple launched the first version of its iPhone that worked on 3G networks. It also introduced e-mail system MobileMe, which proved to be a disappointment.

When negative reviews started pouring in, Jobs summoned the MobileMe team and asked a simple question; Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do After receiving an answer, he thundered : So why the f** k doesn’t it do that... You should hate each other for having let each other down. He then quickly named a new executive to run the group.

He tells employees who are made vice-presidents that there is no acceptable excuse for not getting a job done. He draws a comparison between an executive and a janitor, illustrating that if the garbage in his office is not cleared and he questions the janitor, the latter could give an excuse that he didn’t have office key.

When you’re the janitor, reasons matter. Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering, says Jobs, adding that Rubicon is crossed when you become a VP.

At Apple, there is an employee’s group Top 100, which is not formed on the basis of rank. Each year, the group meets Jobs for a three-day strategy session at a secret location. Jobs preference for the venue: good food and no golf course.



A memoir released by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen last month portrays Bill Gates as a sarcastic bully who hates disagreements. In Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft, he describes the software mogul who these days spends a significant amount of time and wealth on charity as a person who thrived on conflict and wasn’t shy about instigating it. Childhood friends Allen and Gates founded Microsoft in the 1970s.Here are some points made by Allen that show his former partner and pal in unflattering light.

Many consider Gates management style as a key reason behind Microsoft’s initial success. Allen, who left the company in 1983, disagrees. He says Gates demanding and confrontational style destroyed their friendship and ability to work together. He claims the Microsoft chairman was unable to settle arguments rationally and publicly belittled co-workers with his favorite insult: that’s the stupidest f** king thing I’ve ever heard. A few of us cringed at the way he’d demean people and force them to defend their positions, Allen says. He writes of having fights with Gates that lasted hours.

Allen claims Gates jeered at colleagues who sought time off. Once, he seemed baffled by a programmers request to take a day off after working 81 hours in four days.

He would apparently ridicule coworkers’ efforts with put-downs like I could code that in a weekend. According a report on the memoir by The Guardian, Gates would prowl the company car park to see who came to work on the weekend.

Allen recounts meeting Gates in the 1960s.At 13, Bill asked me: What do you think it’s like to run a Fortune 500 company I said I had no idea. Bill said: Maybe we’ll have our own someday. Allen accuses his former friend of mercenary opportunism. He claims that Gates wanted to reduce his share in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 1982.

I’d thought that our partnership was based on fairness, but now I saw that Bills self-interest overrode all other considerations... My partner was out to grab as much of the pie as possible and hold on to it, and that was something I could not accept, he writes. 

Can't stop thinking if I also should start working on changing my management style to the kinds elaborated above.. It really takes THAT to make it big; I guess.. :)

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