I’m becoming increasingly fascinated with leadership structures and decision-making. The question of how people operate together in an institutional setting, balancing individual needs and foibles with a greater mission seems open to a lot of answers. In the interest of exploring these dynamics, two pieces of reading:
1) This piece on the relationship between New York Editor Adam Moss and his protege-rival Hugo Lindgren, who is now editor of the New York Times Magazine. You get the sense the author of this piece began it expecting a story of dysfunction in the workplace and a friendship gone sour, but I actually see it as very much a success story: Two apparently brilliant and exacting journalists worked together to produce one of the best magazines out there. When the younger man sought to express his own vision, they parted ways, and seem to maintain a healthy mutual respect.
2) This post from Ken Auletta on Google CEO Steve Schmidt’s decision to step back and hand the reins back to one of the company’s two co-founders, Larry Page. I share Auletta’s fascination with the idea that such a huge organization could be run so well by a troika for so long, and the ability of these very rich and successful people to (apparently) recognize their own weaknesses and make decisions to dis-empower themselves for the sake of the institution.