Today, for the first time ever, I encountered politics in Google. Now, I was not naive. I was sure there is a ton of it floating around but I still believed that it is a lot less than what we have in the outside world. That observation holds true. My observations about Google and a corporate job anywhere is that there are primarily two kinds of politicians on campus:
1. A few very dominating people who will have opinion but will not do their homework before honoring us with it
2. A set number of people who are insecure about their job and so try to protect it by exercising their (so-called) power, or worse keeping critical information to themselves. They usually make for bad bosses and even though I am lucky to (really) have an awesome mentor/boss right now, I have seen enough employees go bad because the boss is insecure
The best way to deal with this (other than to start a company of your own, which seems like the best way to deal with anything these days) is that if you encounter the first kind, then just do way more homework than they do, and keep asking very intelligent questions. At some point or the other, you will notice the sound of a big ego slinking away.
In the latter case (usually the most egregious kind of politician), have a heart to heart. Talk to the person, make them feel at ease. Actually try to decrease their insecurities. And if they are scared (or scary) enough that a simple chit-chat does not help, then just remove all the potential grouses they could have. Establish better communication channels, be on the right side always, and then keep working single mindedly towards the goal.
As a wise man once said, "There will always be people that don't see eye-to-eye or are distracting. Just work hard, be
aggressive (in a good way) and get the product launched. Stay focused on the goal and others will get behind you."
- Be good (and on the right side)
- Be open
- Be focused
All else will follow.
Epilogue: Life in Bay Area is going well. Work is going well, weather is awesome, the itch to do something has restarted. All in all, perfect recipe for Bay Area living. The company is exploding to put it mildly, and one has to be in the center of the hurricane to see what the hell is going on here. Though at a macro level, some storm clouds appear in the horizon for Silicon Valley. Oh well, I have seen those before.