Everyone has things that make them tick, and top leaders are no exception. (You can’t stand people who loudly chew gum? You’re in good company — neither can Oprah.)
From half-baked ideas to working around the clock, we’ve collected the management pet peeves of 15 influential leaders.
Most of these are smart things to avoid in general. Some are individual quirks. But one thing’s for sure: If you ever happen to be discussing your future with Sheryl Sandberg, organising a meeting with Jeff Bezos, or buying President Obama his trail mix, you’ll know what to do.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
The president expects his staff to show up ready. As one senior aide told Politico's Amie Parnes, 'If people aren't prepared, if ideas are half-baked, he gets a little annoyed because he feels like he could be using his time better.'
He also dislikes when people monopolize the conversation at meetings, preventing others from speaking -- and when people try to micromanage his time, another aide told Parnes. 'If you spend too much time telling him where to go, how you get there, and everything in between, it drives him crazy.'
Also worth noting: POTUS can't stand gum that comes in paper wrappers (only plastic-packed Dentyne Ice for him, according to a book by his former right-hand man, Reggie Love), and -- Love learned this the hard way -- he will not stand for candy in his trail mix.
In an interview with ABC News, the Huffington Post Media Group president and editor-in-chief said her biggest pet peeve is 'people who pride themselves at working 24/7.' That's not hugely surprising, considering that Huffington is also a serious advocate of getting enough sleep -- a practice fundamentally incompatible with working round the clock.
'I was having dinner with a guy recently and he bragged that he only got four hours of sleep the night before,' Huffington recalled in the interview. 'And I didn't say it, but I thought to myself, 'You know what, if you had gotten five this dinner would have been a lot more interesting.''
The JPMorgan Chase CEO has several management pet peeves, according to a report from Sital S. Patel at MarketWatch.
He wants people to feel free to bring up anything during meetings, and hates when they approach him individually afterward, Patel says. Bringing up issues privately after the fact -- issues they could have brought up publicly in the moment -- undercuts the expectation of transparency and healthy debate.
The same report highlights his other deal-breaker: Dimon can't stand workers who throw their colleagues under the bus, criticising how some of his colleagues jumped on the 'band wagon' in condemning Ina Drew after the former chief investment officer lost her job in 2012's London Whale episode.
In both 'Shark Tank' and sports, the entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner won't stand for laziness. He complained in a Q&A with the Chicago Tribune about how few people 'actually do their homework' and how people in sports tend to 'do things because that's the way they always have been done, or because some 'expert' says so.'
While she once told Vogue she doesn't notice she's often the only woman in the room -- and recently argued to Backchannel's Steven Levy that gender isn't a relevant issue in the tech industry -- the former Googler and current Yahoo CEO has previously expressed frustration with women's participation in computer science.
'I'd like to see the industry be more encouraging and open to having women contribute to software in more significant numbers,' she said in a 2010 podcast.
An easier peeve to resolve: Mayer also hates it when the bills in her wallet aren't all facing the same way -- a quirk left over from her high school stint working as a grocery store cashier, she tells Fortune.
Also concerned about womens' place in the workplace is Facebook COO Sandberg, who is a big advocate of more women rising to leadership roles. At an event promoting her book, 'Lean In,' Sandberg said one of her pet peeves is when women give up on opportunities because they worry about having a family later in life, reports NewsWorks.
'If you want the option to stay in the workforce, keep your foot on the gas pedal, reach for opportunities until you actually have a child,' Sandberg said at the event. 'That's what might get you promoted, where you'll have more control over your schedule, not less.'
The founder of activist hedge fund firm Third Point is quick to criticise businesses he perceives as favouring relatives, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Once, upon discovering that a company in which he'd invested employed both the CEO's daughter and her husband, he called the husband and then disclosed their conversation in one of his famously vitriolic missives.
'I was not sure whether it was his relation with his father-in-law or the $US238,776 salary that affords him the opportunity to work on his golf game during business hours,' Loeb wrote in the letter.
The late innovator and Apple CEO didn't just dislike Android -- he really, really hated it, according to Fred Vogelstein's book, 'Dogfight.'
Jobs reportedly told friends that he considered then-Android head Andy Rubin a 'big, arrogant f--k.' His fury grew from a sense that Google was simply copying the ideas and design of Apple's software. According to Vogelstein's account, Jobs was clear about his ire. 'Everything is a f--king rip off of what we're doing,' he reportedly said.
(Not -- it's worth noting -- that the legendary perfectionist was above stealing an idea or two of his own. In Walter Isaacson's biography, Apple's design guru Jony Ive recalled that Jobs had an annoying habit of taking credit for Ive's design ideas.)
'I hate chewing gum,' the media mogul told People. 'It makes me sick just to think about it. When people chew loudly or smack it and pull it out of their mouth, that's the worst.'
Luckily for aspiring Oprah affiliates, this is an easy quirk to avoid. Certainly in most professional settings, gum-chewing is an inadvisable habit for an employee to have.
In his kick-off address for the 2013 Google I/O conference, the tech CEO enumerated some of the things that annoy him the most, reports CNET. Among them is the continually negative coverage of Google in the press.
'Every story I read about Google is kind of us versus some other company or some stupid thing,' he said in that speech. 'And I just don't find that very interesting... Being negative is not how we make progress.'
The Supreme Court justice won't stand for cursing. As he told New York Magazine's Jennifer Senior in an interview, 'One of the things that upsets me most about modern society is the coarseness of manners.'
Scalia told Senior he can't watch a movie or TV program without experiencing 'the constant use of the F-word -- including, you know, ladies using it.'
The real estate mogul and 'Shark Tank' investor has a zero-tolerance policy for what she calls 'fancy talk,' she told the Washington Post's J.D. Harrison.
What is fancy talk? 'It's someone who went to the right school, knows all the lingo, who has a perfect business plans and is throwing words around that I have no idea what they mean,' she explained.
She finds that false certainty irritating, Harrison says. '(N)othing happens the way you planned when you get out in the real world.'
The Amazon founder believes a culture of too much agreement is toxic, explains Fast Company, and argument -- not consensus -- is the key to success.
Thus, his famous 'Two Pizza Rule' -- the policy that no team should be too large to be happily fed with two large pizzas. By keeping groups small -- five to seven people -- Bezos created an environment where 'independent ideas would prevail over groupthink,' the Wall Street Journal explains.
The Vogue editor-in-chief may be fashionable, but she is never fashionably late -- and she can't stand it when other people are, she tells Hemispheres.
She doesn't mince words: 'I don't like people who are late,' told the magazine. And she means it -- as Forbes recalls, Wintour once threatened to start boycotting designer Marc Jacobs' runway shows if they didn't start on time.
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