Published on: August 22, 2016by Kevin Coupe
As part of its regular "Corner Office" column this weekend, the New York Times had an interview with Logitech CEO Bracken P. Darrell, in which he made a couple of interesting observations worth noting in this space...
• Important values... "Early on, we defined several values in the culture that I didn’t think were there enough. One of them was speaking up, and that’s the most important one. When people go through a tough time, as Logitech had for about four years, everybody’s talking about problems. But if nobody listens to them they stop talking about problems, so you don’t know what they are. The most dangerous thing is to be sitting in an office and nobody’s telling you what’s wrong. So I immediately started talking about speaking up and moving fast."
• How to hire... "The most important thing for me is frequency of interviews over depth. I don’t hire anybody who I’ve met just once. It’s a long process. And then I get other people to meet them because I have blind spots. I’m super-intuitive, and that’s really dangerous when you’re hiring people because you can really miss things.
"And you can get a feel for what people are like when you’re in a restaurant. We’re a humble, self-effacing company that’s just trying to do good work. There’s no room here for enormous egos. I don’t like people who don’t respect others as equals, whether it’s a recruiter or a waiter."
I especially love this last point.
I've been on the road a lot this summer, which means I've been in a ton of hotels, restaurants and airports. And I've gotten really tired of people who treat the people who work in those places like crap.
I don't know what the hell is going on in our culture, but somehow the message that we can treat badly the people who work in a service capacity seems to have gained some traction. This isn't to say that all those employees and service workers are themselves barrels of charm ... but that's no excuse. I've seen more cases where consumers seem utterly unable to say please, or thank you, or demonstrate any sort of common courtesy.
It doesn't take much. And the thing is, when the employee is curt or unpleasant, I've generally found that a nice word or a smile puts them in a better mood. Which seems like a small effort to make in order to create a more friendly environment.
I think Darrell's point is well taken. Potential employees should be taken out for a bite to eat, if only so one can see how they treat people. It is a great litmus test for character.
In some of the stories about Garry Marshall, the Hollywood director who recently passed away, one of the common refrains was about how he never forgot about his roots. And one of the lines of his that I really liked was this:
It is nice to be important. It is more important to be nice.
That's my idea of an Eye-Opener.
- KC's View: