Arrogance, Success and Silicon Valley

Regarding this from VentureBeat / Business Insider...

Between bosses and clients I've had some great ones whom some other folks experienced as jerks. I've had others, also great, whom I wished weren't as nice as they were as it tended to skew their sensitivities; too high in some areas, too low in others... and their being too nice and reserved actually impacted their communication, effectively disconnecting and detaching some of their key people from what they most cared about and vice-versa. Nice guys don't always finish last but being too nice, just like being too much of a dick, can be contagious. And whichever one's in play, it can either hurt or help a business over the long term. Business is business. On one hand it's not about making friends. On the other, people do their best work when working with others they click well with; relationships are huge.

Leadership's a tough gig at any scale. Sometimes it requires purposely sending a blunt message to get your point across. Other times it requires knowing - or being told - when it's time to take a step back to keep your ego or emotions in check. If you start to genuinely lose your shit, you start making (potentially big) mistakes.

Clarity, focus, aggressiveness, assertiveness and making the right key calls at the right time are traits that map to success. Some people who tend to embody all that happen to be prone to being jerks. If you don't like jerks don't invest in, work for or hire them. Don't buy their products or services, and be as proactive as you can to make it hard for them to get at any data or other information you don't want them to have.

And if you want to be a jerk on your own terms then start your own business. Go build something. Work with whom you want on what you want, where you want, when you want and how you want. People can and will either join you on that ride or not; some collateral damage will probably be inevitable. So take whatever success comes with that or not, likewise sacrifice, but you just might find that's almost everything you need to truly feel rich. Simple.

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