Friday, May 3, 2013

A-Level Players

In his biography, Steve Jobs talks about his responsibility, as a CEO, to keep C-level players out of his company - even in middle management.

The thing about mediocre people is that they tend to hire people who make them feel better - that is, D-level players.  Steve Jobs was convinced that allowing this meant fast-tracking the death of your company.

Unfortunately, C-level players abound.  They may manage to make tenure.  In bureaucracies, they may rise among the ranks if they stick around long enough or cow tow to the right person(s).  Aside from an uncanny knack for spotting and hiring talent that is lesser than their own, they feel an urgency to unleash insecurity-inspired vitriol and attempt to take A-level players down.  It has always been this way.

In a system - family or workplace group - the unstated rules sometimes are: don't rock the boat, don't stand out, don't dare to excel lest you make the insecure members look or feel bad, and know your effin place.  That's how you maintain stability, order, predictability, status quo, boredom, rigidity, gradual decline, brittle ossification, and essentially guarantee that the law of entropy will lead to sure death of the system or revolt.  It has always been this way.

  • Cain killed Abel because God found Abel's offering more pleasing.
  • Jacob & his mother plotted to steal his older brother Esau's birthright.
  • Joseph's brothers conspired to kill him but sold him as a slave to Egyptians instead because they were envious of the richly ornamented robe their father, Jacob, gave Joseph and they were jealous of the love and attention their father directed toward Joseph.  Joseph went from slave to Pharaoh's right hand man - very rich and powerful - due to his gifts of dream interpretation and foretelling the future.  So being forced out of his home was a blessing in disguise for Joseph. 
A good friend told me - trust the Universe.  When things don't pan out, it could be you dodged a bullet. A new friend reminded me that rejection may be God's protection.

When asked if A-level players fight all the time, Jobs responded that A-level players like to work with other A-level players - it is not competition, it's more like play.  Excellent shit gets done smoothly. 

Let your light shine.  Your bright star will light the way for other stars to find you.  Then work might  become play.

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