Steve Jobs is one of my business heroes. When confronted with a tough situation, I often ask myself, “What would Jobs do?” He was a brilliant innovator and businessman, but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything he did.
Two months ago, I put this article in my queue to write about: Judge dismisses $324.5m settlement in Silicon Valley collusion case. This is one of those times when Jobs crossed the line.
It’s alleged that Jobs sent no-poaching emails to the CEO’s of Google, Intel and Adobe, which suggested they all agree not to hire each other’s employees. This formed the basis of a pact between the tech giants that served to suppress employee growth opportunities and salary increases.
Now, obviously, this is wrong; however, it demonstrates quite effectively how important the “team” is to the success of a company.
Losing a valuable team member to your competition can be devastating to a tech company, but there are better ways to go about keeping them than resorting to collusion and anti-trust violations.
As the old saying goes, “You can’t make a dog happy by wagging its tail.” If you do things that make the dog happy, it’ll wag its own tail.
Instead of colluding with his competition, Jobs should have considered treating his top performers with more respect, giving them credit for their accomplishments, and paying them more. According to his biography, he wasn’t very good at any of these things.
The reason why I’m writing about this is to reinforce the importance of having a top-notch team and surrounding yourself with A-players. Trying to do everything yourself or settling for underperformers is not how great companies are built.
Then, once you have you’re A-team, treat them well so they don’t take their talents to your competition.