Andy Grove on Leadership

[Note that quote comes from a transcript of the talk that the folks at Harvard gave me (Bob Sutton). I have edited out a few lines, in part, because Grove made some comments about the Soprano’s TV show that were funny, but distract from the main point]. Grove said: "None of us have a real understanding of where we are heading. I don’t. I have senses about it... But decisions don’t wait, investment decisions or personal decisions and prioritization don't wait for that picture to be clarified. You have to make them when you have to make them. So you take your shots and clean up the bad ones later. And try not to get too depressed in the part of the journey, because there’s a professional responsibility. If you are depressed, you can't motivate your staff to extraordinary measures. So you have to keep your own spirits up even though you well understand that you don’t know what you’re doing." Then, Clay Christensen asked, "So how do you work on that part about keeping good spirits or managing emotional response, leading your team." Grove answered: "Well, part of it is self-discipline and part of it is deception. And the deception becomes reality -- deception in the sense that you pump yourself up and put a better face on things than you start off feeling. After a while, if you act confident, you become more confident. So the deception becomes less of a deception. But I think it is very important for you to do two things: act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction; and when you realize that you are wrong, correct course very quickly."

source: Bob Sutton's Blog, http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/03/andy_grove_tell.html tags: Leadership, Perfectionism, Decisions, Motivation