X-Message-Number: 22487
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 02:12:19 EDT
Subject: Re: How to work together

To CryoNet
From Steve Bridge
September 9, 2003

In # 22482, Tim Freeman wrote:
>Sigh.  My message was in reply to Jerry Lemler's stepping down as CEO,
>Johnson's sudden exit as COO just before that, Platt's short stint as
>COO before that, a number of other half-remembered changes during the
>past few months that I don't want to look up right now, the Cryocare
>mess before that, and Darwin's on-again-off-again dance during the
>last few years.
>What's going on here?  What do we do about it to work together anyway?
>Platt terminating his membership seems a little odd, given that he's
>not dissatisfied with Alcor's member services.  The argument du jour,
>whatever it was, probably has little to do with whether being frozen
>is better or worse than being buried.

>>I will be happier if I am not closely involved with Alcor, and Alcor
>>may be happier too.

>Check this out:
>  http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/07/magazine/07HAPPINESS.html
>Free registration required.  The one-sentence summary is "People tend
>to overestimate how much changing circumstances will affect their

The answers to these questions are essentially the same as some of the 

answers that we give for why there aren't more people in cryonics.  At this 
stage of 
its existence, when cryonics still cannot be proven to work, the field 

attracts a lot of people who don't always get along with others.  I like Charles

great deal and I think that he has added a lot of talent to Alcor and cryonics;
but he has often said that he lacks people skills.  Many of the cryonics 

leaders in the past have been people who had very high standards for the level 
behavior and skill they expected from others, and with little patience to wait 
for others to approach those standards and with little ability to manage 
people in order to begin achieving them.  

Managing anyone in any field is a challenging job, and it is especially 

challenging when managing cryonicists who "challenge" you on everything.  Alcor
hasn't had many leaders skillful in managing people and often not even 
*interested* in the management part of the job.

There are other individual answers for some of the reasons people left; but 
effective hiring, training, and management have been pretty much hit and miss 

in cryonics over the years.  Cryonics needs employees who are both competent at
what they do and enthusiastic about cryonics.  This is a surprisingly hard 
combination to find.  Too often we got competent people with doubts about 

cryonics or about the odd people around them -- and so they left after a few 
or we got super enthusiastic cryonicists who were naive about their own 
abilities and about the level of training and competence required.  If we got 

lucky, a handful of the most enthusiastic cryonicists were also hard workers and

competent enough to move the organization forward.  We weren't always lucky and
we didn't often know how to increase our luck through good management.  (I 

include myself in this, too.  I know I made a lot of mistakes in my choices 
President of Alcor.  But I did try to manage the staff and did not ignore 
that as a responsibility.)

Right now Alcor is looking for a new CEO.  I hope we can find someone willing 
to be a manager as well as a hard worker and a promoter and an encourager of 
advancement in the field.  A good hire in that position would make a lot of 
difference in turnover, I think.

Steve Bridge
Former Alcor President but writing for myself, not for Alcor.

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