ABOUT THIS CONTENTUseful tips from a speech to the 1996 Dean's Associates Conference by Gordon Myers, Chief Operating Officer, ISSC (Integrated Systems Solutions Corporation, asubsidiary of IBM)
Source: Interview with Gordon Myers, Chief Operating Officer for ISSC | Texas – The Business School Magazine
From a speech to the 1996 Dean’s Associates Conference by Gordon Myers, Chief Operating Officer, ISSC (Integrated Systems Solutions Corporation, a subsidiary of IBM)
- Competence and Knowledge
- You must be knowledgeable in your chosen field.
- You must have a familiarity with business finances. The odds are high that, regardless of the field, within the first year of work you will be asked to estimate future costs, look at investments, or analyze existing costs.
- Effective Problem Solving
- Everyone is an expert at saying what’s wrong, but few pre good at saying, “Here’s how to fix it.’
- You must be able to clearly flesh out alternative solutions to problems, objectively evaluate them for pros and cons, and pick the best alternative. Typically, there is no ‘best’ or ‘single’ solution. Every solution has downsides which must be evaluated and understood.
- Good Communication
- You should be a good listener. Studies show that those executives who are the best listen two-thirds of the time and speak one-third of the time in one-on-one meetings.
- Your writing skills are essential. As technology enables more and more communication with e-mail and more group collaborative work where people interact from remote locations, the ability to clearly communicate through written expression is even more important.
- You must be able to orally present your thoughts clearly to others and develop the ability to summarize key points. Be able to modify a one-hour presentation and highlight the key points for a customer or executive in five minutes. If you can do this, your one-hour pitch will be stronger as well.
- Efficient Planning
- Be able to prioritize your work.
- At the group level, you need the ability to manage a project. This requires breaking a work effort into individual steps, planning the duration of each step, highlighting interdependencies, and focusing on the risk areas.
- Positive Attitude
- You must be self-confident, but not egotistical. Don’t always try to claim credit.
- Admit your mistakes. This is the only way to learn and will allow you to build relationships with others.
- Don’t gripe. Too many people gripe about what’s wrong instead of trying to fix things.
- Be curious and always interested in learning. Show an interest in understanding what’s going on, why things happen the way they do, what the customer’s business is all about.
- Ability to Work with Others
- You must be able to both lead and follow. You mayleadon one effort and follow on another. Almost all jobs require an ability to work on teams.
- Businesses require honesty, and if you lie, you will get fired.
- Enthusiasm for Your Work
- If you enjoy and are excited about your work, you motivate others and enable them to overcomethe challengesthat inevitably arise.