Results They Enjoyed
A Case Study
The Business of Leadership...Executives learn new tricks
Our executive team has been working on its leadership skill through a program we call "The Business of Leadership." The whole purpose of the program is for us to enhance our effectiveness as leaders of the organization by specific work on leadership techniques. We have been meeting off-site every five to six weeks for a full day intensive session on various aspects of leadership. David Fisher of Fisher Associates, who I have worked with over the last eight years, facilitates the program.
The results we are trying to achieve are:
THE FIRST STEPS:
One of the first things we did together was to establish a set of commitments to each other, basically defining that we are and the way we want to be with each other. This set of commitments is the core of what we stand for as a team. If you go to our offices, you will likely find the following framed document, signed by all of us.
"COMMITMENTS TO EACH OTHER"
We pledge to use the following commitments to each other as the basis for our working relationships:
THE NEXT PHASE
This year we have taken this program to its next phase, by involving more of the organization in the program. The way we are doing this is to actually work on some of our most pressing business issues with teams of people made of the organizations that are lead by the executive team member. In proceeding this way, we will be spending time solving real problems, while at the same time work on leadership skill building. So, the people on the teams, led by our executives, will be going through the same program that the executive team has experienced since last March. This phase of the program basically involves most of the direct reports of the BMG members.
So, why are we doing this? We are at a major transition point in the history of this organization. We have grown to be a large and successful organization and we now have to make the next step in our evolution to that of being a supplier of building blocks for computer telephony server solutions. The Internet is remaking the nation's economy around people to people, business to business and people to business interaction. Intel will be a big part of this New World by participating in many of the opportunities to supply components and systems that are the foundation of this changing economic picture. Intel certainly will supply computer and network processor chips for everything from hand-held devices to major computer systems. In addition, we will be part of supplying server level systems that make the networks over which all this communications occurs.
THE CHALLENGE: EXPANDING OUR REACH
So, we are expanding our reach as a supplier of CT boards to a supplier of server level components and systems, with our boards, software and services. This, quite frankly, has been our vision. We are now part of Intel, and the possibilities for making this vision come true are now even greater with Intel's assistance in technology, marketing and sales channels. To say the least, this is a very large challenge for us, to make both a transition to new business opportunities and to make the transition to a new company culture, in being part of the Intel team. Having strong leadership skill and having a leadership organization that is really running well as a team is even more important than it has ever been. So, we have decided to spend time, not only on our business and product strategy, but also on making ourselves the most effective leadership team as possible. Put simply, we need this leadership strength in order to succeed.
The results we have achieved so far are very positive. I believe that the executive team has become a much closer knit group that has a heightened regard for each other. I have grown as a leader and have established a much more effective relationship with the folks that report to me. We really do stand for each other. I have seen numerous examples of us being able to openly deal with problems in a positive and constructive way.
FACING THE NEW CHALLENGE
The Technical Leadership Program, which has also been underway since early last year, is closely tied to this program in that the same leadership concepts are being practiced. It is focused on the day-to-day management issues that managers have to deal with, and gives managers practical training on how to perform management tasks. That program is available for all managers and is strengthening the leadership abilities of the overall management team. The next step is now to expand the Business of Leadership program to the next level of management in the organization.
Having an effective leadership team is really a key part of being a successful business organization. It's something we need to spend time on and to practice every day.
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