photo credit: Fotografik33cc

I’m torn over this story, Inside the Showdown Atop Pimco, the World’s Biggest Bond Firm. On the one hand, it’s clearly excellent reporting, from top-notch reporters and a world-class newspaper. On the other hand, story implication seems to be Bill Gross is an out of control egomaniac who is going to ruin his firm if left unchecked.

I should start by saying I don’t know Mr. Gross, I’ve never met him, I never deal with him in business, he’s in a totally different domain. But the behavior described is completely typical of any highly successful, high-functioning organization in any field I’ve ever seen.


High-functioning business organizations aren’t Disneyland. There’s always stress, conflict, argument, dissent. Emotion. Drama. This exact same behavior or pattern is often found in both the best-performing companies in any space and in the worst-performing.

I often see young people entering business think it’s all going to be patty cake happy land and if not, something must be wrong. So I read this story and I literally think to myself, boy, that sounds like Apple, Oracle, Intel, Cisco, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Moral of the story? Business is stressful. There’s constant conflict, emotion, even anger. Building a company is an intense experience, period. Harnessed properly, this is the crucible out of which high performance and great results emerges. Satisfaction of overcoming challenges.

To quote Jim Barksdale:

This isn’t a family and I ain’t your daddy. But together, we can build great things and make our grandkids proud.

Source: Andreessen’s tweets on High-Functioning Business Organizations Are Not Disneyland: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


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