Bob Pittman: 'Let Everybody Have A Voice And Let There Be Some Dissent'
November 18, 2013 at 3:56 AM (PT)
ADAM BRYANT of THE NEW YORK TIMES scored an interview with CLEAR CHANNEL Chairman/CEO BOB PITTMAN, which was published over the weekend. In it, PITTMAN explained his management style, noting when he first managed a radio station as "the team leader, so my job was to sell them on my idea, and to keep selling them, and then listen really well, let everybody have a voice and let there be some dissent. That really developed the style that I’ve had forever."
PITTMAN went on to explain the necessity of dissent, saying, "I want us to listen to these dissenters because they may intend to tell you why we can’t do something, but if you listen hard, what they’re really telling you is what you must do to get something done. It gets you out of your framework of the conventions of what you can and can’t do."
"One thing I preach a lot here is," continued PITTMAN, is "Weed the garden. If I try 10 new things and, just for example, let’s say two are clear winners and two are clear losers. That means I’ve got six in between. What do I do with those? Most organizations -- and when I’m not careful, including me -- let everything live except the clear losers. And what happens over time is that stuff in between doesn’t really help you. It takes up a lot of resources. It’s confusing. It’s muddy."
When asked, “What are the biggest mistakes you’ve made?” PITTMAN responded, "I have no idea. I make mistakes all the time. I don’t count them. I don’t remember them. The beauty of a bad memory is I never feel so bad."