Hardline Management at Yahoo

On ValleyWag, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz reportedly told staff she would “dropkick to fucking Mars” anyone whose gossip about Yahoo ended up on the blogs. The quote itself was on ValleyWag shortly after. Aside from the obvious fact that treating people with disrespect is wrong and potentially illegal, managers who only care about profits should still avoid this behavior. The key asset of a technology company is not the technology, but the people. Not matter how good your technology is, in a few short years today’s intellectual property will be tomorrow’s commodity.

Threatening employees is demeaning. Your best employees, the ones you want to keep, will have other employment options and, after being repeatedly abused, they will leave. Meanwhile, the people whom you’d better off without, will stay. Demeaning people pushes staff talent the wrong way (down).  In a technology company, this throttles the competitive advantage.

While the threat is strong, this is not strong leadership; it’s not in the company’s interest. Over time, this management style will discourage, demotivate and drain talent, which is especially dangerous for technology companies.


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