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அழகி மென்பொருள்
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Even at Apple, People Quit Bosses, Not Companies

Courtesy: Nanje Gowda, Kalakad

Even at Apple, People Quit Bosses, Not Companies...

It's true. For the most part, people quit bosses, not companies. That's one reason why sites like Glassdoor, for all their momentum, are a bit incomplete - because it's hard to index scores and get people on the record about individual managers. And of course, comments about bosses or companies that are protected by anonymous status are problematic - it doesn't mean they aren't true, but they have to be taken with a grain of salt.

That's why a recent post over at Medium from a former Apple contractor (who identifies himself) is so unique. Apple's clearly a great place to work in many ways, but if you go read the account, it's proof Steve jobspositive that companies - even the great ones - are only as good as the front line managers who take hour by hour responsibility for the relationships with employees.

Here's how a guy named Jordan Pricedescribes his experience working at Apple as a contractor:

"Then my immediate boss (known at Apple as a producer), who had a habit of making personal insults shrouded as jokes to anyone below him, started making direct and indirect insults to me. He started reminding me that my contract wouldnt be renewed if I did or didnt do certain things. He would hover over my back (literally) like a boss out of Dilbert and press me to finish some mundane design task that he felt urgently needed to be examined. He was democratic about his patronizing and rude comments, but it didnt make me feel any better when he directed them towards my team members. I felt more like I was a teenager working at a crappy retail job than a professional working at one of the greatest tech companies in the world.

The food in the cafe was great, and I liked my new iPad Air. But the jokes, insults, and negativity from my boss started distracting me from getting work done. My coworkers that stood their ground and set boundaries seemed to end up on a shit list of sorts and were out of the inner circle of people that kissed the producers ass. I started to become one of those people that desperately wanted Friday evening to arrive, and I dreaded Sunday nights."

It's easy to discount the take from Price and tell him he needs to grow up. But let's assume the general description of the boss in question is true. It's proof positive that a certain percentage of people will quit a boss - even if everyone in their life tells them they need to suck it up and do it for their career/resume at a premiere global brand.

Here's how Price talks about quiting Apple:

"This morning I got up a bit later than usual, and I missed the one Apple bus that stops by my house. I ended up driving to work in slow traffic. I was thankful I didnt have to drive every day. I got into work and immediately had to go to another meeting. It went fine, and then I got back to my desk. Without so much as a hello, my boss hit me with another weird low-blow insult wrapped up nicely as a joke. I tried to ignore it and get back to work, and I realized I just couldnt focus at all on my job. I was too caught up thinking about how I should deal with the situation. Should I put in my notice? Could I make it to the end of my contract? Could I switch to a different team? How could I find a new job if I was always stuck in Cupertino? Maybe I should bop my punk boss in his nose? No dont do that, Jordan. Then at lunch time I wiped the iPad data clean, put the files I had been working on neatly on the server, left all their belongings on my desk, and I got in my car and drove home. I left a message for my boss and told him hes the worst boss I had ever encountered in my entire professional career and that I could no longer work under him no matter how good Apple might look on my resume."

If you're Apple, how do you respond? 3 ways I think:

1. You don't overrespond, if you think you're a great place to work. Be you. But think about the bell curve of your managers at Apple.

You've got some bad ones. Do you know who they are?

2. If you know who the bad managers are, are they managing consistent with your culture in mind? Is getting great results but treating people shitty OK? You can't forget that Steve Jobs wasn't exactly a warm and fuzzy guy. Was that type of abuse only for Jobs, or is it part of the culture? That's a question that really drives if Apple has a problem with the manager in question.

3. If the type of management style depicted is OK in your culture, you just need to do a better job of weeding out the people who can't take it. Price obviously was in that group. If it's OK to be results focused and not worry about how people feel, you have to make sure you're screening people with high sensitivity out.

People definately quit bosses, not companies, in many cases. Knowing what your culture is and keeping bad fits out is an alternative to weeding bad managers out.

Not the way I would go, but if the culture is hard and only focused on results, maybe the best path with stories like this.

With Thanks and Best Regards,



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