Image released by NBC shows Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer appearing on NBC News’ “Today” show, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 in New York to introduce the website’s redesign. (AP Photo/NBC Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire)

Friends and colleagues, with a big sigh, are talking about the Yahoo CEO and new mom’s decision to dictate where and when people work. Why is this so discouraging? Let me count the ways:

1) it implies the bigger vision at Yahoo must not be compelling enough for people to really engage, no matter where they sit, and/or it is unclear how individuals contribute to that vision.
2) it implies that time on task is more important than performance or the excellent professional development which would drive performance.
3) it implies that being whole, including work/family balance, is less of a priority than being a company man/woman even though technology enables connectivity.

All of these things are so discouraging because they sap the currency of empathy in this organization, like so many before. We’ve been there and done that. We know how the story ends. We are weary. To have it happen in a technology company (check) led by a woman (check) who just had a baby (check) makes it even harder to swallow, but not just for women.

This is not the decision of a leader. This is the decision of a manager – someone desperate to control employees in a culture which may have lost its way

Management. Control. They squelch the currency of empathy, and with it, innovation. It’s hard to imagine Yahoo thriving without innovation…and leadership.

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An Antidote to Our Empathy Deficit Disorder


An Antidote to Our Empathy Deficit Disorder

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