The 'Yes' Men

Let me turn a corner and cover a non-technical topic here for once…

Several years ago, I had a job where I had to ask myself the following question, “Do I do what I think is right, or do I do what will make my new boss happy?”

Now, this was not a moral question, it was simply about how to do some measurements / benchmarking and systems stuff; pretty low key, no big deal.

I stuck to my guns and at some point shortly after, I didn’t have that job anymore. ;)

In my case, there really wasn’t any big life altering changes to myself or anyone else regardless of which decision I made. But in some cases, this can really go the wrong way…

Let me illustrate by quoting something from my reading last night; the book was Amy Goodman’s (Host of Democracy Now!) ”Breaking the Sound Barrier”, and within was a quote from Grammy Award-winning soul singer John Legend when he gave the commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania,

Too often, in business and in government, people are rewarded for having the answer that the person they report to wants them to have: “Yes, sir. We can provide mortgages to people who have no down payment and can’t afford the monthly payments.”… “Yes, ma’am. I can write a legal brief to justify torture.”

John Legend Commencement Address at the University of Pennsylvania 2009

Stick to your guns, fuck your boss.