Monday, November 28, 2005

Fortune on Andrew Grove as a manager

But Kinnie and Carter had trained at the Grove school of management—Grove's MO as a leader has always been to depend on "helpful Cassandras" to make sure that he doesn't win an argument he ought to lose. The two were blunt. "Andy, you can't do this," Carter said. Abandoning CISC for RISC, they argued, would truncate one of the most profitable franchises in business history for ... what? Leveling the playing field for Intel's competition? When the discussion ended, Kinnie and Carter had achieved a feat of monumental difficulty. They'd won an argument with Andy Grove.

The smartest managers instinctively understand that to manage effectively they need to surround themselves not with "yes-men", but with people willing to question and honestly state the truth. People who habitually do so, however, are not people who are comfortable to be around, and it takes truly great men who can set aside their egoes and truly listen and value those people.
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