What makes a leader?A more key question might be what makes a champion?The answer is: The unyielding, relentless, refusal to quit. To withstand harrowing terror and live only to withstand more traumatic experiences (all before finishing adolescence) for most would be impossible, but for Intel® Chairman Andrew S. Grove, it was what was necessary to unleash the champion percolating within him.
When Grove arrived in America at age 20, he was broke, penniless, and ready to launch into his American dream and forever become part of the Zeitgeist. He admits he had no idea what was in store for the Jewish boy who survived the Holocaust only to wind up in the Soviet invasion of Hungary. What awaited Grove in America was opportunity and the chance to change and mold history.
In 1968, Grove was in the right place at the right time and utilized the keen insights for which he has become known when Intel® was formed. Now, Groves is widely regarded as “The CEO’s CEO.” What’s that mean? It means he’s able to manage the big picture while dealing with the small picture. It means he is able to motivate and lead by example and is able to draw out greatness from those around him.
But how does he do such a feat when his company has a presence in nearly every country on the globe? Grove offers, “Everyone has value. Everyone has something important to offer. I want everyone who works for and with me to know that they are as important as any other member of the team.”
Grove sees the future for what it is, an opportunity to do something different and moves forward without looking back from whence he has come. “I don’t like to complain. I don’t like it when other people complain. Many of us have come through awful times. Many of us have been hurt and damaged, but that’s in the past. It’s irrelevant to what you’re doing now or going to do in the future. I look forward because I can do something in the present and in the future. I can’t do anything about the past.”
How do you motivate and guide a global empire like Intel? “By allowing everyone to feel needed,” offers Grove as he stares directly into your eyes. “How do you conquer fear? Conquer fear by being stronger than the fear. I refuse to allow myself to be guided or beaten by little things.I take on big challenges and I utilize all my talents, not just some of them to achieve results. I have to bring all talents I possess to full force to succeed.”
What makes Grove so good at what he does is in sharp contrast to other CEOs and corporate leaders. Grove is affable and approachable. While he is busy shaping the future of the chip sector and technology in general, he has time to stop and chit chat with passersby wanting to breathe in his essence of leadership.
Grove’s leadership style is famous.He sets the bar for integrity and discipline.
Soft spoken and reportedly easy to work with, Andy Grove sees life as a constant opportunity to reinvent and discover. Is it his boyish charm that dazzles stock holders year after year, as Grove leads the way toward finding new opportunities for Intel to dominate in the chip market? Is it his zealous pursuit for results that famously forged a partnership between Intel and Apple when both were teetering on the verge of market instability to realize a rebirth of both brands?
It is this and more. It is the fact that Andy Grove, chairman of Intel Corporation, is the kind of person who drives harder and longer, who refuses to let go when there is still something more left to be had, and who sees possibilities in others around him… especially the future.Within him burns the heart of a champion.One who won’t fail, one who won’t falter, and one whose commitment to excellence and endurance is surely an inspiration to us all.