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Speaking Truth to Power: Reflections on My Career at Microsoft (medium.com)
8 points by homarp 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 1 comment



I was curious to read this post from the title. Speaking truth to power (or the lack thereof) is a recurring problem at MSFT, and probably one of the most important dimensions I've observed that this culture could improve.

That said, this left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm sure this was partially biased by my own feelings on James; as I've not been impressed in personal interactions by how he lives his stated values, especially in this case; largely finding him to be a self-promoter and not a Doer, benefiting from the same culture he criticizes. (and this after spending years looking up to what he preached; truly never meet your heroes) So be encouraged to judge the OP on its own merits.

Primarily, I find this to be a lot of words that still fails to ask the key questions of Why and How We Fix It, simultaneously ignoring his own role in the status quo, while still finding time to make inflammatory deviations.(Claiming that it's a male-exclusive problem is absurd to the point of distracting from the actual cause and effect, it was a female PM who first introduced to me the principle of "promo by proximity to scott guthrie," among other more incendiary/identifiable quotes I won't state here.)

Any discussion about this topic CANNOT succeed without a focus on incentives, and how they decay at scale, otherwise the core statement buried in his essay that I _fully support_, sweeping away old guard management to leave room for new growth, can never come to pass.

All of the positive hopes at the end of the OP are moot without long-term, holistic accountability, without a way to break out of the cycle that among other things engenders hiring managers to say, quoting a team transfer process a peer of mine underwent: "we aggressively avoid hiring nonconformists like you."




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