The late 20th century produced numerous effective business leaders worth learning from and potentially even emulating. I put Andrew S. Grove near the top of this category.
Dr. Grove is one of the participating founders of Intel Corporation, where he served in a variety of roles including COO, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board. Currently, he serves as a Senior Advisor to the organization.
A few years ago I read his book “Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points that Challenge Every Company and Career.” Even though the book was published nearly 20 years ago, its’ many insights are just as relevant to the current business environment. While there are many passages that could be highlighted, one I found particularly resonate is:
Your career is literally your business. You own it as a sole proprietor. You have one employee: yourself. You are in competition with millions of similar businesses: millions of other employees all over the world. You need to accept ownership of your career, your skills and the timing of your moves. It is your responsibility to protect this personal business of yours from harm and to position it to benefit from the changes in the environment. Nobody else can do that for you. (p. 6)
This advice is equally applicable to the high school student starting college, the young professional entering the job market in a challenging economy, and the established professional seeking to continuously navigate treacherous waters.
I encourage you to invest the time to read this book.
Grove, A.S. (1996). Only the paranoid survive: How to exploit the crisis points that challenge every company and career. New York, NY: Currency Book.