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среда, 25 июля 2012 г.

Про непростой характер некоторых выдающихся личностей

Марисса Майер, безусловно, главный ньюсмейкер последних дней. Очень многие сотрудники Google высказали свое мнение про нее и это мнение растиражировали в многих изданиях.  У меня блог не про Мариссу и не про Google (хотя я обоих очень люблю), а про жизнь вообще. Поэтому я не стал публиковать мнения бывших коллег Мариссы про то, какой она была стервой. А вот комментарий анонимного пользователя на Quora мне настолько понравился, что я его публикую целиком.
I reported to Marissa before she was a VP, after she was a VP, and then to someone who reported to her. I was never close friends with her, but I do consider her a mentor and I have many friends in common with her.

The comment on HN is not an accurate portrayal. I can see why someone would think that, as many people had difficulty working with her. She's opinionated, smart, and direct. I'd argue that it's very rare to find someone extremely successful who doesn't rub a lot of people the wrong way. If you're smarter than 85% of people in the room on any given day, and have been for most of your life, then you get used to knowing what someone not as smart as you is going to say, cutting them off to tell them why they're wrong, and moving on. This is an unfortunate mode of operation most people come to -- there are only so many hours in the day. When I first started at Google, fresh out of school, I was taken aback by how curt and angry many senior execs seemed. I saw her behave this way to dozens of people. 

But I soon learned that it was a side effect of not having enough hours in the day, and they'd learned to be direct. As an aside: not all executives are this way, and there's no excuse for being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. But let's look at these behaviors in context and give people the benefit of the doubt. What I found interesting is that this behavior most often annoyed people who were less secure in their own abilities or who were less well respected by the organization already. It was really that a curt executive magnified something they already felt, rather than being the source of the issue.

In my interactions with her, she was extremely generous, thoughtful, and caring. In my years of working with her, she would give me honest but productive feedback, taught me countless small but meaningful tidbits (e.g. if you're giving a presentation, speak to the most important person in the room), and even jumped on a few grenades for me (once I decided to give a strategy presentation that directly conflicted with what Sergey wanted to do, pissed him off, and she insulated me from his anger that day in a way that achieved the right outcome for Google and probably saved me from being on Sergey's bad side). I had to work my ass off and had to prove to her that I knew what I was doing, but once I had her respect, she trusted me. This did not mean I had a free ride. She still pushed back on me, but if I really believed something and had good reasons for it, she never pulled rank on me, even though I am several years her junior.

I can understand why some people had the interactions they did with her. She's a strong personality, opinionated, a clear thinker, and very fast at taking in new information and evolving her opinion -- that's why she's 37 and the CEO of Yahoo. This is not a personality that everyone can get along with. And it does have its side effects. In the same way that she trusted your judgement by default and would take the onus to override you if she disagreed, if you were on her shit-list, then the onus was on you to override her judgement if you disagreed. This is a hyper rational way to interact with people with whom you've had many many interactions. And, of course, it isn't 100% accurate. But she's not Bill Clinton. She won't charm the pants off of you if she decides for whatever reason that she doesn't want to. Her job as an executive is to get shit done and sometimes this means pissing people off. But to make it seem as though she was universally hated or incompetent is a gross mischaracterization.
Мне кажется, после этого комментария тему "Почему многие умные люди такие козлы" надо закрыть навсегда. Бизнес - бизнесом, мимими - мимимями.