Published Jun 6, 2005

Sometimes, bosses say the stupidest things. Their mouths open and out come the worst cliches. But — even more incredible — that cliched phrase works. And then — poof — motivation! Caring! Inspiration! All the fruits of leadership!

Now, I don’t intend to write much about my summer internship at Intel — I’m not a big believer in blogging about work, it just seems to be a way to get into trouble — but this really stood out. So here’s the story.

Today I had new employee orientation. Policies, procedures, forms to fill out, etc. And, of course, the obligatory Video From The CEO. The trainer popped in the VHS tape of Craig Barrett talking to the camera and put it up on the big screen, and we all watched for five minutes.

Towards the middle of the tape, the camera zoomed in on Barrett, and he said something like “Every day we do new things at Intel. But today is special for us, because today is your first day.” And, you know what, I believed every word of it.

So that’s what a real leader can do — he (or she) can make you believe that he cares, even when he’s on the other side of a video. If Intel’s policies towards its human capital are any indication, Barrett really did care. And that there is probably the essential lesson of leadership.

Either way, I was sure motivated after that!

1 Comment

Kumbaya! Kumbaya!!!