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The Art of Corporate Success: The Story of Schlumberger by Ken Auletta

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5

SHAKING THE TREE

Four days after Riboud had arrived in Texas, he boarded the company jet to return to New York. The trip had served three purposes, he said on the flight. “One, it gives me a certain general feeling for the ambience, the people—how they feel. Two, it gives me a specific judgment on a certain number of people. Three, it permits me to judge certain business problems. I get a lot personally out of this. The question-and-answer sessions are helpful. One way to test people is by the questions they ask—by the freedom or lack of freedom of their questions. The field people are a lot freer than the headquarters people. And the Europeans are a lot less disciplined than the Americans. Americans are careful. Take the session yesterday ...

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