Chaos Monkeys: One Road Leads to Doing Something, The Other Road Leads to Being Someone
You should read ‘Chaos Monkeys’ today. Go ahead, grab it on Amazon or head to your local library (as I did). If you take nothing else away from author Antonio García Martínez’s experience as a product manager building the real-time bidding exchange for Facebook Ads (FBX), then at least absorb this lesson from the Full Frontal Facebook chapter.
To be someone or to do something, which would I choose? A man occasionally reaches a fork in life’s path.
One road leads to doing something, to making an impact on his organization and his world. To being true to his values and vision, and standing with the other men who’ve helped build that vision. He will have to trust himself when all men doubt him, and as a reward, he will have the scorn of his professional circle heaped on his head. He will not be favored by his superiors, nor win the polite praise of his conformist peers. But maybe, just maybe, he has the chance to be right, and create something of lasting value that will transcend the consensus mediocrity inherent in any organization, even supposedly disruptive ones.
The other road leads to being someone. He will receive the plum products, the facile praise afforded to the organization man who checks off the canonical list of petty virtues that define moral worth in his world. He will receive the applause of his peers, though it will be striking how rarely that traffic in official praise leads to actual products anybody remembers, much less advances the overall cause of the organization.
A polarizing notion no doubt. But, where might you stand when the opportunity reveals itself?