Fiefdoms

Joe who’s at Microsoft write about Bherbolds new book Be Wary of Fiefdoms. Fiefdoms. Fiefdoms. I spent 12 years living in them. The anecdote about how many people do you have working for you.

During my early years at Microsoft, I found that Bill wasn’t the only top executive who was frustrated with the inefficiency of the company’s business practices. In one meeting, Steve Ballmer, then head of sales, questioned his managers on the number of employees assigned to different tasks in the division. After receiving varying answers, he blurted out, “Look, maybe we should suspend the meeting for three hours. All of us can go back to your building and count heads to find out how many people you actually have.” He was kidding – but just barely.
[Courtesy of Wired Cottages]

Heck I could have been at that meeting. For the record when I left, I had 232 people working for me not counting temps and contractors. (That’s a joke, I have no idea how many :-0) So I guess I was there.