It's how Lockheed let Kelly Johnson run the Skunkworks however he wanted to. Johnson delivered the impossible again and again, and Lockheed was smart enough to not interfere.
Some people can be brilliant at something while at the same time being toxic, with the toxicity ultimately winning. Kalanick at Uber might be an example.
However, while the combination of autonomy and brilliant personality might be a prerequisite of outstanding success, I'm not yet convinced that it's an overwhelming indicator of it. I believe that a brilliant but toxic personality with autonomy can lead to an ultimately fatal instability.