Let me start by asking: aren’t you tired already of seeing Marissa Mayer’s face on every online media channel every single day? Since when did management become a popularity contest in the court of public opinion? Do we all have nothing better to do? It seems to me we are slowly transforming the profession of management into a circus, complete with soap drama. If we are looking for role models, I would say we are looking in the wrong place. We have a new breed of executives, namely the “celebrity” CEO. I am sure she is a good human being and of above average competence and intelligence, but to me a role model has to have done significantly more than taken full advantage of the opportunity of being at the right place at the right time. Role models to me have to somehow embody that Greek tragedy hero quality of fall from grace and resurrection.
Now management is an endeavor that aims for long term results. Results speak louder than words, and long term means that an observer shouldn’t judge one micro-decision at a time. So if I were Marissa, I would respectfully ask everyone to please abstain from having an opinion about the duration of my lunch, or my working hours, or other similar triviality. But to me she appears to at least partly enjoy the attention. CEOs are not alone in the quest for “celebrity”. CNN anchors and many others are helping to spread the Hollywood phenomenon outside of the entertainment industry.