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If the Shoe Fits: Nothing is Black and White

by Miki Saxon

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mWhy is it that so many who offer good professional commentary ruin it by presenting it as black and white?

Nothing that involves humans is black and white.

If I describe a manager who screams, rants, insults, and belittles his people I doubt that you would want to emulate his style.

What happens when I tell you his name is Steve Jobs?

Nothing is black and white.

A recent Inc. article listed 8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses, they are

  1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.
  2. A company is a community, not a machine.
  3. Management is service, not control.
  4. My employees are my peers, not my children.
  5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.
  6. Change equals growth, not pain.
  7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.
  8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the list, the concepts are good, but there is a lot wrong with the accompanying commentary starting with the adjectives.

According to the article bosses who don’t embrace these eight in the way described are average bosses.

More accurately, the descriptions of the actions and attitudes attributed to the “average boss” belong, by and large, to the toxic boss category.

Based on the categories Jobs is average, by the descriptions he’s toxic.

Tony Hsieh comes to mind as fitting the description of ‘extraordinary’, although I doubt you would hear him describe himself that way.

Apple and Zappos are both highly successful.

The take-away is nothing is black and white; things that look great at first glance need to be thought through before you embrace them.

Option Sanity™ helps think things through.

Come visit Option Sanity for an easy-to-understand, simple-to-implement stock allocation system.  It’s so easy a CEO can do it.

Do not attempt to use Option Sanity™ without a strong commitment to business planning, financial controls, honesty, ethics, and “doing the right thing.”
Use only as directed.
Users of Option Sanity may experience sudden increases in team cohesion and worker satisfaction. In cases where team productivity, retention and company success is greater than typical, expect media interest and invitations as keynote speaker.

Flickr image credit: HikingArtist

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