The topic today is another quote from Sir Terry. A number of years ago I celebrated a milestone by buying Terry a custom coffee mug. When he asked what it was for, I mentioned that I had worked for him for a number of years and that I wanted to say thank-you. He immediately replied with “You work with me, not for me.”
It’s another one of those moments when a couple of words brings things into focus. It’s important for the well being of a company that people work together. As soon as one person starts to impose his or her will on the masses, creativity is stifled and the company starts its long slow side to oblivion. I was surprised and somewhat shocked when I visited a large service provider just a couple of years ago and observed the management environment. People actually didn’t talk to VP’s and scrambled to look busy when they walked by.
“I don’t understand how a company can function when there is a separate ruling class.”
People in successful companies, independent of size, work together as peers. They communicate ideas, promote a two way dialog, celebrate successes and look at failures as an opportunity to improve. There are some notable exceptions like Apple during the Jobs era, but they are exceptions. The best people almost always have a choice with respect to where they work and they pick only the best environments.