Sunday, March 18, 2012

Outrageous Success Requires Offensive Behaviours

Hank Trisler
Hank Trislers NO Bull Shots are teh highlight of my email reading list. Hank wrote this recently:

Andy Horner, the chief architect of Ace of Sales,recently wrote a fine and brief article about Steve Jobs. You can read the entire article at and I'd recommend it to you.

Andy closes his piece with this question: "Is it possible to reach the phenomenal artistic success Steve Jobs attained without great relationship sacrifice and aggressive, brash control?"

I answered that it is indeed possible, but that isn't the way the smart money bets. I have studied biographies most of my long life and find that people of outstanding achievement have usually developed abrasive personalities by the time they become noteworthy.

I have further found that people who were offensive tyrants on their road to success, often encounter disaster if they decide to throttle back and warm up late in their careers. Drivers and warriors are so designed that they operate efficiently only at full throttle. When they back off, even a little bit, The game changes remarkably.

What's your observation and experience n this area? 

1 comment:

  1. According to the book Quiet by Susan Cain, the idea that the most extroverted, forceful leaders have the best results is something of a myth. Yet the leaders with that style tend to be viewed as effective because of their brashness in a society that admires extroversion, in fact, an introverted leader is often more effective. The extroverts are good at leading a passive work force, but to inspire an engaged work force and get them to contribute their best ideas you want an introvert:

    "Brigham Young University management professor Bradley Agle studied the CEOs of 128 major companies and found that those considered charismatic by their top executives had bigger salaries but not better corporate performance...when he analyzed what the highest-performing companies had in common, the nature of their CEOs jumped out at him. Every single one of them was led by an unassuming man like Darwin Smith. Those who worked with these leaders tended to describe them with the following words: quiet, humble, modest, reserved, shy, gracious, mild-mannered, self-effacing, understated. The lesson, says Collins, is clear. We don’t need giant personalities to transform companies. We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run."

    So I suppose the question is whether by success you mean fame, in which case the most attention getting, whether by good or bad behavior would by definition have the edge, or whether success means results without fame.