June 20, 2008

News & Opinion: New excerpt up - from Divide or Conquer

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 5:32 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

There's a new excerpt up on our Excerpts Blog. The excerpt is taken from Divide or Conquer: How Great Teams Turn Conflict into Strength by Diana McLain Smith. This chapter examines the the Steve Jobs/John Sculley breakup at Apple in the 1980s, a conflict that nearly destroyed the company.

The story begins:
More than 20 years have passed since Steve Jobs and John Sculley's much-publicized breakup at Apple. Yet it still serves as a cautionary tale. In two short years, their celebrated camaraderie turned into an antagonism so great it escalated hostilities between divisions, put the firm at risk of a takeover, and sent Steve Jobs into a 12-year exile, from which the firm has only recently recovered. How these leaders went from soul mates to adversaries in such a short time shows how relationships, even those touted as a perfect match, can self-destruct under pressure, leaving a firm to pay the formidable price of a failed relationship.

This case study is one of many found in Divide or Conquer. From the publisher: "Smith shows us how to build work relationships that are flexible and strong enough to survive the toughest challenges... This book will break the myth that relationships are too mysterious to decode and too difficult to change. It offers powerful tools that can help anyone, from new recruits to CEOs."
Here's a direct link to the excerpt:

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.