Managing Individual Differences and Behavior This part of the Uber continuing case focuses on Chapter 11 and covers principles related to individual differences and behavior. This continuing case’s real-world application of management knowledge and skills is designed to help you develop critical thinking ability and realize the practical power of sound managerial skills for solving problems in your job and career. Read the continuing case and respond to the questions that follow. Research suggests that CEOs are likely to share traits that enable them to achieve such success in their fields. At the same time. Chapter 11 teaches us that individual differences can account for differences across leaders. This case examines Individual differences between former Uber CEO Kalanick and current CEO Khosrowshahi. Intellect • Kalanick has a gift for working with numbers. He began writing computer code in middle school and achieved a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT. When trying to devise an Uber model that would help drivers make more money and make passengers happler, he said, “I started to see how math moved the needle. Things clicked in me about how this thing could scale (be broadened)” • Khosrowshahi spent much of his childhood in an ivy league prep school and earned an electrical engineering degree from Brown University. His colleagues have described him as having a “towering intellect and a rare combination of IQ and EQ. Bill Gross, who sat with Khosrowshahi on Ticketmaster’s board, called him “super smart” and “super effective.” Entrepreneurial Bent • Kalanick displayed strong entrepreneurial qualities from a young age. He started an SAT training company in the summer following his high school graduation, and he helped found the multimedia search engine Scour Inc., where at 22 he was vice president of strategy and responsible for cultivating investors and media partners. Much like rock star entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, Kalanick dropped out of college to pursue his dreams. Khosrowshahi did not follow the typical tech-CEO path
that Kalanick did. He earned a prestigious college degree and worked as a financial analyst for the investment banking firm Allen & Company for seven years. He then spent seven years as CFO of IAC, Barry Diller’s media and internet company that owns brands such as The Daily Beast, Investopedia, and HomeAdvisor. For the next twelve years he served as CEO of Expedia, and many see him as a primary driver of the company’s big successes during that time. . Competitiveness • Kalanick is a natural competitive athlete who excelled at track and football in high school. Sean Stanton, former VP of Sales for Kalanick’s startup Red Swoosh, described Kalanick’s brain as being wired for efficiency, saying “What’s the fastest, cheapest, and most efficient way to get from point A to point B? That consumes him, and all parts of his life.” Kalanick seemed to see everything at Uber as a competition, going so far as to pit his own teams against each other on the same project, which former employees say created secrecy, animosity, and a lack of cooperation among workers. Uber under Kalanick developed a culture that valued winning more than anything. . Khosrowshahi, like Kalanick, has worked hard and had big successes in his professional life. But evidence indicates he takes a more balanced and long term approach to winning. When he stepped in as CEO of Uber, Khosrowshahi admitted publicly that the company was probably trading off doing the right thing for growth, and thinking about competition maybe a bit too aggressively.” Khosrowshahi has built a strong reputation as someone who can find a way to bridge differences and make deals, even in the most contentious situations.” because his opposition has such high regard for him as an ethical and fair negotiator. He approaches business deals with a long-term perspective instead
of trying to win as much as possible in every situation. Emotional Stability • Kalanick has become infamous for being aggressive, short-tempered, and prone to “fits of anger. Some have described him as “hot-headed and quick to argue,” as evidenced by the viral dashcam video that showed him arguing with an Uber driver who had confronted him about drivers’ lowered salaries. • Khosrowshahi’s childhood friend, Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi, says Khosrowshahi is incredibly even tempered, describing him as an extremely calm person who is “so hard to rattle and get angry.” Uber board member Arianna Huffington often compares Khosrowshahi to Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius because of his ability to remain unflustered when dealing with seemingly impossible situations. Emotional Intelligence • Kalanick’s past behaviors reveal a lack of self-awareness. Articles in various news outlets have described Kalanick and other Uber executives as arrogant, foolish, narcissistic, and tone deaf. Kalanick’s brash and reckless decision making likely played a big part in Uber’s meteoric rise to the top, but these same choices ultimately landed the company in a lot of trouble. • Khosrowshahl’s close friends know him as a humble person who is comfortable admitting faults and laughing at himself. When Khosrowshahi landed the #39 spot on a list of the highest rated CEOs, he tweeted the text exchange he’d had with his parents that read: “Mom: ‘Nice! You made the top 100%Dad: #39 is good but you were #11 in 2015.” When he left his job as CEO of Expedia, he wrote a memo to the company’s employees that said “I have to tell you I am scared. … But the times of greatest learning for me have been when I’ve been through big changes or taken on new roles you have to move out of your comfort zone and develop muscles that you didn’t know you had.” Kalanick’s words, attitudes, and actions indicate that he is low on all four traits of the emotional inteligence (EI) scale. For this response, cite an example of words. actions, or attitudes for two of the four traits of El and explain how your example connects to that trait.