I was oblivious to the rockstar that is Ben Horowitz.
Until a few months ago when I read his work on management that curbs politics in a company.
He defines politics as: people advancing their careers or agendas by means other than merit and contribution.
A key precursor to avoiding politics is to hire people with the right kind of ambition.
The right kind of ambition is an ambition for the company’s success with the employee’s own success only coming as a by-product of the company’s victory. The wrong kind of ambition is ambition for the employee’s personal success regardless of the company’s outcome.
How do you tell which ambition someone has before hiring them?
Ben doesn’t seem to have a clear answer for that so I’ll be thinking about it and, I’m sure, write some thoughts on it in the future.
Simply by hearing one employees thoughts about another without defending the employee in question, sends the message that you agree with what is being said.
This was particularly insightful for me since I will often remain silent when I’m not convinced or even disagree. And that can be ok in personal settings but not in positions of management.
Excited to continue following Ben’s work!