Andy Grove on feeling out of control

You know the bit about the airplane being off-course 90% of the time … but it still gets where it’s going?

That’s true for business too. And projects. And, maybe, even careers. That’s what makes it kind of comforting to read this quote from Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel:

“I think it is very important for you to do two things: act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction; and when you realize that you are wrong, correct course very quickly …. And try not to get too depressed in the part of the journey, because there’s a professional responsibility. If you are depressed, you can’t motivate your staff to extraordinary measures. So you have to keep your own spirits up even though you well understand that you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Bob Sutton, author of the recently released Hard Facts, mentioned it during an interview on Guy Kawasaki’s blog.

I feel like I’ve just been to a support group or received a group hug. I mean, Andy Grove is a legend. He’s an incredibly-respected business leader and technologist. If he felt the way I sometimes feel, maybe it’s just OK. Maybe it’s not just me … and that the frustrations and uncertainties I feel while I’m screwing around vigorously.

Listening, learning, leading: onward!