Don’t urinate in public

Some great bits from this interview: 7 Leadership Lessons From A Mind-Meld Between Twitter’s Dick Costolo And Venture Guru Ben Horowitz

So how does a person deemed worthy of promotion end up becoming the caricature of a bad boss? “The number one kind of bad thing people do when they get promoted from individual contributor to manager,” Horowitz says, “is that they have some kind of platonic form of manager in their mind, and they try and be that platonic form, which is not them. The manager all of a sudden … goes from being somebody who you can talk to just like a complete jerk.”

But even when someone is promoted because of his or her cutthroat style, the problem comes when they try to change. Horowitz recalled the story of basketball player Charles Barkley, who had a reputation off the court for getting in bar fights, getting arrested, peeing in public–it overshadowed his on-court performance so much that Nike cast him in a famous series of ads in which he proclaimed “I’m not a role model.” Suddenly he was freer to be himself on and off the court, and some of the pressure came off. The Barkley story, Horowitz said, is a perfect example of the importance of retaining the personality that got you to the management role in the first place.

“The best advice for managers is: You’ve got to be the person you want to work for,” Horowitz added. “And don’t urinate in public.

Definitely worth a listen to the full audio interview:

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