I ruminated on that Steve Jobs review for far longer than most blog posts. I desperately wanted to avoid contravening my New Years resolution to not be negative, but I honestly felt like I had to do it.
Anyway, Joel Spolsky (who is one of my online heroes and literally works in the building next to mine), makes me feel better today:
It is not, as it turns out, necessary to be a micromanaging psychopath with narcissistic personality disorder (or even to pretend to be one) if you just hire smart people and give them real authority. The saddest thing about the Steve Jobs hagiography is all the young “incubator twerps” strutting around Mountain View deliberately cultivating their worst personality traits because they imagine that’s what made Steve Jobs a design genius. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc, young twerp. Maybe try wearing a black turtleneck too.
For every Steve Jobs, there are a thousand leaders who learned to hire smart people and let them build great things in a nurturing environment of empowerment and it was AWESOME. That doesn’t mean lowering your standards. It doesn’t mean letting people do bad work. It means hiring smart people who get things done—and then getting the hell out of the way.
Joel is much more in the *Clever* school of talent management and so am I.