Reaction to my management style

I’ve been getting loads of mail and a few comments here in response to my post about management techniques. Basically these people were telling me that using fear and psychological manipulation doesn’t work. They said it works better to be nice to people and treat them with respect. Well, to those people, I say, Look at Apple. Look at our amazing success. Especially our success since I took over the company. Compare that to the abject failure under my predecessors. Now compare that to whatever company that you built with your bare hands into a multi-billion-dollar empire using your techniques. What’s that? You don’t have a company? You never started a company or ran a company? You’ve never been a CEO? Huh. Okay. The prosecution rests. And for those of you posters who work at Apple — and yes, I know who you are — don’t be surprised when you show up and your door badge isn’t working. It’s not an accident.

Meanwhile here’s another tip, which I just remembered because I happened to use it yesterday. It’s a verbal technique based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and it’s based on the use of non sequitur, which is French for “a word that makes no sense and freaks people out.” So what you do is, in the middle of a meeting, when someone else is talking, you just sit there nodding your head, as if in agreement, but then at some point you suddenly switch and go negative and just stand up and go, “No! No! That’s stupid! What is wrong with you?” Then stomp out of the room, slamming the door behind you. This freaks people out and they will tread lightly around you.

Another version of this is the “elevator putdown.” I do this occasionally. I’ll get on the elevator with some other people, and smile, or say hi, and they’re usually nervous because they’re standing next to me or whatever and I’m this big celebrity plus I’m their uber-boss, so it always freaks people out to stand in an elevator with me and I have to admit, I totally dig that. Anyhoo, often nobody will speak when I’m on the elevator. But if by any chance the people do speak to each other, and carry on a converation that does not include me — let’s say they were already having a conversation when I got on the elevator, and they keep having it after I’m with them — I’ll wait until just before we get to my floor, and then, as the door opens, I’ll turn to them and say, “What you just said is completely wrong. You know not whereof you speak.” And then leave. Keeps people on their toes, trust me.