The keynote address from this year’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was moderated by Michael Lewis and featured an interesting panel, including Bill Simmons and Mark Cuban. You can watch it online.
Around 20 minutes in, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey talks about how he hates working with people who aren’t willing to stand up for their views.
You have to have a culture where there’s no bad idea and people aren’t afraid to bring them up. I want the people who work with me to have very, very strong opinions. And I get really mad if I make the first argument against and they’re immediately like, “Oh yeah, maybe you’re right.” That drives me nuts.
Neat to see a leader who wants his team members to disagree with him and push back. Loyalty and mindlessly saying yes aren’t the same things. Smart people want to hear pushback. Not drama and emotional conflict, just healthy disagreement.
Reminds me of the “strangers at a cocktail party” problem. When an HR department hires a ton of people rapidly, you wind up with polite agreement.
But when one — or a few people — hire and take special care to choose personalities who are a good fit (and then bring those people into the fold slowly), you get a culture where people feel ok speaking their minds.