Personality Cults

Continuing the active/reactive discussion a bit.

As I was wrapping up that last entry I noticed something interesting. In talking about the active nature of the companies, I named their figureheads. I thought this was slightly odd, but left it as it was.

Bill Gates is certainly known by many (and often reviled by many, because he is richer than they are) But, between Bill Gates and Microsoft, which is the cause, and which is the effect? Did Bill ‘just happen’ to be the head of a successful corporation, or did he make Microsoft?

Easy to test right? Just take the man away from the company and see what happens.

We all know what happened to Apple when Steve Jobs left. The shell was still there, but the company had become completely reactive, and started to fade away. Then Jobs came back, and suddenly multicolored iMacs are flying off the shelves. Coincidence seems unlikely.

Ayn Rand certainly thinks so; in Atlas Shrugged the entire economy was held together by maybe a dozen people.

I used to think that the famous people where the ones who just happened to be there when something worth remembering happening. Now I feel that the people mattered. Some people put forth quality effort in whatever they do (large or small) Substitute somebody else, and you get another Apple fading away.

I guess what I’m searching for is what the effective people are doing different, so that I can apply it my own life.

Posted Wednesday, December 31st, 2003 under Essay.