I don't necessarily agree with all that this quotation infers but it's been rattling around my head this morning for various reasons:

"Steve Jobs [had] a saying that A players hire A players; B players hire C players; and C players hire D players. It doesn't take long to get to Z players. This trickle-down effect causes bozo explosions in companies."

(Guy Kawasaki)


@dajbelshaw @epilepticrabbit What is the definition of an "A-player" that sounds very dubious to me to classify people that way.


Yeah, hence my caveat. There is definitely a nugget of truth (for me at least) in people purposefully hiring people less able (however you want to define that) because it keeps them in control.


@dajbelshaw @epilepticrabbit Is there any research on this nugget of truth or is it just something someone pulled out of the blue?

Also I'm way more able to do a lot of troubleshooting and correction of errors than my boss, while being way less able to manage things, does that make me be more or less capable than my employer?

@dajbelshaw @sotolf @epilepticrabbit we had it as a rule of thumb in our student fraternity that unless you pay attention you would invite new members slightly less cool / awesome / adding to the mix and end up with a slow decline year over year. Regression to the mean / reversion to mediocrity. No need to label people A to D, because it's not the people, it's you doing the selection without paying enough attention to the regression effect: we choose those like we are or a little less by default

@ton @dajbelshaw @epilepticrabbit So a company should have managers only hiring people that are good at managing to keep regression from happening? That seems a bit suspect to me, a company needs a variety of people, some that are good at managing, some that are good at technical stuff, some that are good at cleaning, some that are good at selling and so on, diversity is what is needed isn't it?

@sotolf @dajbelshaw @epilepticrabbit variety is indeed the key word. But variety doesn't happen by default in my experience.

@sotolf @dajbelshaw @epilepticrabbit so to me it isn't about labelling people as A or whatever, it is about being aware of your own tendency to look for yourself in others, and consciously counteract it.

@ton @dajbelshaw @epilepticrabbit So basically being aware of what your biases are and doing the opposite of what the quote says, which is something I wholeheartedly agree about :) Seek for people with more skills than you to help you out where you need it, and let yourself focus on the things that you're good at :)

@sotolf @ton @epilepticrabbit

The reason I mentioned not agreeing with everything that the quotation infers is that there are many reasons that people don't reach their potential.

@dajbelshaw @ton @epilepticrabbit For sure there is, and one thing that I feel am that people don't reach potential is that they buy into this sense that they are one kind of person, and that's all, measured on the "Macho Alfa" "scale" I'm not a very successful and person with potential, but on other scales I'm doing pretty well. So much of it has to do with perspective :)

@sotolf @ton @epilepticrabbit

I'm not sure if any of the Macho Alfa was included in anything I tooted, so there may be a bit of projection going on there.

For example, the 'A people' in my world are the people in touch with their emotions and who exhibit some vulnerability.

@dajbelshaw @ton @epilepticrabbit I don't know what was meant in that post, which is why I asked earlier :) But this whole categorising people thing is so difficult, since we have no real measurement to measure by, someone having skills in one thing aren't neccesarily better than someone else having other skills, that's basically the difference between people :)

@sotolf @ton @epilepticrabbit

Indeed, and I find it interesting that you frame it around skills, when from my perspective it's so much more than that :)

@dajbelshaw @ton @epilepticrabbit Well I don't know, skills kind of is what I think of people as, but then again I count things like soft skills, determination and discipline as skills more than other traits in general :) I don't know it might be that I'm just talking about something else than what you intended and that I interpreted it differently from what was meant :)

@dajbelshaw @ton @epilepticrabbit exactly :) that's how we broaden our horisons, and so often I see thing very much from my own point of view (strangely enough :p) so it's nice to see how others think :D

@dajbelshaw @epilepticrabbit that's why democracy's outperform in average plain pyramid schemes, since the distribution of type A is strong inverse exponential imho

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