Friday, December 02, 2022

Is it time to fire yourself?

Source: Intel

This week, author and leadership development consultant Adam Bryant wrote a thought-provoking article titled, "Is it time to fire yourself?" for Strategy+Business. Bryant tells the story of Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech International.  After five years leading the firm, Darrell asked himself the question, "Am I the right person for the next five years?"  He pondered stepping down.   Instead, though, he chose to continue as the CEO, while adopting a fresh perspective.  Darrell explains, “I have to rehire myself but have no sacred cows. It was super exciting and fun, and I started changing things that I had put in place. Fortunately, I didn’t have to change things radically, but I felt new again.”  

Bryant also recounts the legendary story of former Intel CEO Andy Grove contemplating how his replacement might adopt a very different strategy facing the specific circumstances challenging the firm in the early 1980s: 

"Grove asked Gordon Moore, Intel’s cofounder, 'If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do?'  Moore responded by saying that a new CEO would take Intel out of the memory-chip business. 'Why shouldn’t you and I walk out the door, come back and do it ourselves?' Grove responded. And that’s what they did. They shifted Intel from memory chips to microprocessors, a crucial pivot that led to decades of prosperity for the company." 

Bryant offers a compelling argument for why leaders should consider what might happen if they were replaced.  How might a new person look at the situation?  What other perspectives might be helpful to me now?  Am I stuck in a certain mindset or beholden to certain assumptions that may no longer be valid?  Leaders at all levels absolutely should ask themselves these questions from time time.  

No comments: