You Don’t Want a Sam Altman

You don’t want a Sam Altman in your organization. If you have, you’re not running an IT organization. You are just administering a cult.

I’m all for having brilliant and charismatic performers in the organization. However, having individuals perceived internally and externally as indispensable is not good. Mr. Altman admitted as much back in June when he said, “No one person should be trusted here. The board can fire me, I think that’s important.”

It turns out that the board couldn’t fire him. He had carefully maneuvered himself into a position where investors and almost everyone on the team believed that OpenAI would come crashing down around their ears if he left, costing them the billions of dollars of profit and stock options they were looking forward to.

Make a short list of your organization’s 3-5 star performers. For each of them, ask yourself what would happen if they were let go or decided to leave. If any of them are in a Sam Altman-like position, you have a serious risk to mitigate.

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