While this is primarily a geek-ish blog, but I also like to write about productivity, management and work-place dynamics. Today I was struck by something Robert Scoble wrote. Scoble used to work for Microsoft and was one of the most influential bloggers there. He has also had a profound effect on the “blogosphere” around the world, co-writing a great book called “Naked Conversation” with Shel Israel and about which I wrote here and here. More recently Scoble has gone to work for Podtech Network where he is vice-president of Media Development.
Scoble was writing about a new hire at Podtech, Chris Coulter, a long-time contrarian of Scoble. People have reacted to that so he articulates his reasons. The reason that really caught my eye was the fourth:
Fourth, if I’m going to grow as a manager and as a leader I need people I work with who see the world differently than I do. Translation: who can tell me I’m full of it. Why is that important? Well, beyond keeping the ego under check, it’s where great ideas come from…. Having diverse ideas on a team is important and brings better ideas.
Man. I don’t know Robert Scoble at all, but I sure appreciate this kind of self-understanding. Obviously this looks great on paper and will probably be occasionally painful to live with. You have to really court honesty and forthrightness for that to come off well. Not all leaders can handle that degree of feedback.
I’d like to be one of them.