How to Manage Geeks

by oneafrikan on December 18, 2005

_ How to Manage Geeks

A good deal of the credit for Novell’s turnaround must go to Schmidt, who excels at getting the best out of his geeks. He has used his tech savvy to bring focus to Novell’s product line and his geek-cred to reenergize a workforce of highly skilled but (until recently) deeply dispirited technologists. In general, Schmidt speaks of his geeks in complimentary terms, while acknowledging their vulnerabilities and shortcomings. “One of the main characteristics of geeks is that they are very truthful,” says Schmidt (who, in fact, uses the term “geek” only occassionally). “They are taught to think logically. If you ask engineers a precise question, they will give you a precisely truthful answer. That also tends to mean that they’ll only answer the question that you asked them. If you don’t ask them exactly the right question, sometimes they’ll evade you — not because they’re lying but because they’re being so scrupulously truthful.”

There’s a saying in Silicon Valley: “The geeks shall inherit the earth.”
Good article that talks about how to get the best out of your geeks. Recommended reading if you haven’t already…

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