Just recently, we moved into the second half of the Engineering Leadership program in Silicon Valley. This is the midpoint in the program between the technology innovation topics and the people leadership portion of the program. As a transition into the second half, I have to say that the lecture by Nir Merry of Applied Materials was outstanding.
Nir addressed what it takes for an organization to continually push itself to learn new skills and reinvent its businesses. It turns out that those employees who are the hardest to manage are the ones you actually need. These are the ones who don’t accept hierarchy, the ones who ask why, and the ones who question the boundaries. Nir calls these “big heads” versus the “little heads” who simply do what they are assigned. The lecture talked about how you identify where they are on the scale of “little” to “big” thinkers even during the interview process. And great tips on how to profile the current organization. Also discussed: tips on how to support the “big heads” within the organization. P.S. It also turns out that everyone thinks they are a “big head”.