My objective was to put a small-company spirit in a big-company body, to build an organization out of an old-line industry company that would be more high-spirited, more adaptable, and more agile than companies that are one-fiftieth our size.
Together with thousands of others, I tried to create the informality of a corner grocery store in the soul of a big company.
There is no perfect business story. I believe that business is a lot like a world-class restaurant. When you peek behind the kitchen doors, the food never looks as good as when it comes to your table on fine china perfectly garnished. Business is messy and chaotic.
Bosses usually have answers in mind when they hand out questions. They’re just looking for confirmation.
Gutoff’s recognition – that he considered me different and special – made a powerful impression. Ever since that time, differentiation has been a basic part of how I manage. That standard raise I got over four decades ago has probably driven my behavior to an extreme. But differentiation is all about being extreme, rewarding the best and weeding out the ineffective. Rigorous differentiation delivers real stars – and stars build great businesses.
Everybody’s got to fee they have a stake in the game. But that doesn’t mean that everyone on the team has to be treated the same way.
” from <Jack: Straight from the Gut>