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Case Example: Intel's Andy Grove

By Michael E. Rock, Ed.D. |

This is the second part of an article on EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and the New Workplace.Click here to read the first part.

Certified EQ-i (Emotional Intelligence) Coach & Facilitator
In an article in Fortune magazine, Andy Grove, Ph.D.,founder and head of Intel Corp., answered what he called the "urgent questions in this radically new environment: What are businesses to do? And, what are managers themselves to do?" Whilehis answers are incredibly blunt, they are also realistic.

  1. Globalization and the information revolution run the world. What can we do? Adapt or die. We live and work in a fast world, and it's not getting any slower. If we see a need (personal or business) and don't address it, someone else will, somewhere.
  2. We need to develop a higher tolerance for disorder to cope with this new world. That doesn't mean accepting disorder, but rather, working with the disorder to introduce order. Managers will need to be mentally and emotionally ready for the turbulence generated through global partnerships, mergers, and the shock waves engendered by innovation.
  3. Adopt the following motto: "Let chaos reign, then rein in chaos."
  4. Adopt the mindset of the fire department: It cannot anticipate fires, so it has to shape a flexible organization that is capable of responding to unpredictable events.
  5. On a personal basis, we need to manage our own careers. You, Inc. is a reality. Even as an employee, we are really in business with one employer: ourselves. I know of one manager in a large organization who says, "My company is one of my clients." While not expecting it, he is always mentally and emotionally prepared for a possible layoff, downsizing, merger in his company. His EQ scores are also high as well. He realizes that today no one owes him a career. He is the sole proprietor.
  6. Answer three fundamental questions:
    1. Am I adding real value or merely passing information along?
    2. Am I plugged into what's happening around me? Inside the company? The industry?
    3. Am I innovative: trying new ideas, new techniques, and new technologies -- personally?

The Crucible of Change: Developing Our Own Value Proposition

Dr. Grove's ideas lead to one inevitable conclusion: the future of the new workplace is integrally EQ-based. The new workplace demands high EQ people who are adaptable, assertive, independent, skillful in interpersonal relationships, problem solvers, flexible, able to manage stress, in charge of their own emotions, who can withstand frustration and disappointment, and who demonstrate an optimistic side of life, even in the face of adverse situations. That is a tall order. The list is also EQ-driven.

Dr. Grove concludes his article by using the expression "crucible of change." Each of us is in that crucible right now. Several centuries ago, the precursors of modern-day chemistry -- the alchemists -- also worked with crucibles: the containers that held the "prima materia," or base metal to be transformed into gold. Their philosophy was as follows: the alchemist was like the person who tended the fire under the crucible. Too much fire and the vessel would break; not enough fire, no transformation.

This attentiveness to the fire, symbolically speaking, is also our task today. Life, events, the world have put each of us into the new workplace crucible. At the same time, we also have to be the person tending the fire. This dual role is very difficult. It is like trying to read the lettering on the back of our T-shirt when we don't know what's written there!

Irrespective, we still have this task on our plate. What makes the job manageable -- and its eventual success -- is the robustness of our EQ, or emotional intelligence. We all know what is required (a cognitive, or IQ, piece); it is the knowing how it is accomplished that can be our nemesis (an emotional intelligence, or EQ, piece). Charles Hampden-Turner remarks, "For who looking dispassionately at the human race from Cro-Magnon to Auschwitz to the Gulag Archipelago can doubt that we are technological giants yet ethical pygmies" (David R. Gaster, "A Framework for Visionary Leadership," in John Renesch (ed.). New Traditions in Business: Spirit and Leadership in the 21st Century. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, p.171).

Each of us today has to identify, define and describe our own value proposition: our personal statement of value, of worth, of competency. Our value proposition describes our personal statement of worth. Its structure and content includes what we think, how we feel, and what we do. In the past, what we thought (that is, our IQ) got us in the door, got us hired. But we have come to see -- often regrettably so -- that there is often no direct link between our thoughts and our actions. Paul of Tarsus reminded us of this nearly 2,000 years ago: "For what I want to do Ido not do" (Romans, 7;14).

Similarly, in the new workplace, for organizations to survive and flourish in the 21st century, there has to be a strategic (IQ) and sustainable (EQ) link to its vision, mission, operational objectives. This link is THE critical piece in the new economy. It will get us, not only hired, but will ensure that we stay hired. Executives are only fooling themselves when they only concentrate on the strategic plan and try to force through its execution. There also has to be a sustainable plan. That can only be done with human capital profiling linking the top line (vison and EQ) to thebottom line (strategy and IQ).

Other articles by Michael Rock:

The 90% Factor: EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and the New Workplace
The Right Stuff (Part 1 of 5)
Take Charge -- of Yourself! (Part 2 of 5)
I Count -- I Count You! (Part 3 of 5)
Stress EQ and Unstress You! (Part 4 of 5)
It's All in How You See It! (Part 5 of 5)

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