Atlantic Records: When You’re Here, You’re Family.

In this interview with Atlantic Records’ chairwoman Julie Greenwald, NYT reporter Adam Bryant learns a lot about the working environment at the music label.

It sounds like a place that, depending on your personality, could be a dream job—or a nightmare.

On meetings: “I’m not afraid to call a meeting and shove 17 people into a tiny office. We look like a clown car. But you know what? It’s O.K. because that’s when you feel like, ‘All right, we’re this tightknit unit.’…
Sometimes I look around and I think, ‘Am I an idiot that I’ve got 50 people crammed into my office?’ But it’s so tight and we’re so on top of each other that you feel the ‘It’s us against the world, man.'”

On escalating issues to the boss instead of talking to the offender about them: “If you disagreed with someone and you were afraid to tell her, but you told me, I’d bring both of you into my office and make you talk about it. I did enough of that in the beginning that people understood that if they didn’t confront another person to their face, I will blow up.”

On hiring: “You want people who love going out at night, who want to be out with you. We go out every night together. You want to love these people. You want to hang out with them socially at night, because if you don’t, it’s going to be a bummer.”

On replacing underperformers: “I also constantly ask my senior team, every four to six months: ‘Do you have the best people underneath you? Do we really have people who are good enough to take your chair? And if not, let’s get rid of them.'”

At Greenwald’s first job where she was managing others: “I … outworked everybody. I was in that office at 8:30 in the morning. I didn’t leave that office till 11:30 at night. I outhustled everyone.”