Handing Over the Reins

Great article in this week’s Newsweek by Yale dean Dr. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld recapping the struggle a technology innovator has in ensuring his or her vision lives on after he/she leaves the scene. Key quote:

How do you maintain the DNA that the founders have imprinted into the business? … Time and again, they share a disdain for any distraction about their own mortality. Like monarchs, they often believe they can and should reign as long as they live.

One nit: While this tale of hits and misses among ground-breaking tech companies (Apple, Digital Equipment Corp., IBM, Polaroid) makes for a fascinating trip back through time, Dr. Sonnenfeld doesn’t save much discussion on how to properly prepare your own bench for someday manning the ship.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow