8 7 11 Your Opinions Are Respected

8 7 11 Your Opinions Are Respected -...

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Your Opinions Are Respected (and Required) By ADAM BRYANT Published: August 6, 2011 This interview with  Alan Trefler , founder and chief executive of  Pegasystems , a business  technology company, was conducted and condensed by  Adam Bryant .   Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times Alan Trefler, founder and chief executive of Pegasystems, a business technology company, says it's the job of each person on his team to have an informed opinion, and that “it had better not be the same opinion as everybody else's.” Corner Office Every Sunday, Adam Bryant talks with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing. In his new book,  " The Corner Office " (Times Books), he analyzes the broader lessons that emerge from his interviews with more than 70  leaders.  Excerpt » More ‘Corner Office’ Columns » Subscribe to Corner Office via RSS » Q.  Do you remember the first time you were somebody’s boss?   A.  If we go way back, it was when I was working with my dad in his business. When he came  Sons Antique Restoring.  Sometimes he would give me interesting assignments that would involve trying to  coordinate people, all of whom were older and more experienced than I was. So I didn’t  really have the authority, and I really didn’t have the right level of experience, but I had a lot  of enthusiasm. I found that with the right level of enthusiasm, you could actually get other 
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folks to follow your lead or, better yet, do some things themselves that they knew how to do  better than you, even without having to push them.  Q.   What about after your first formal management role?   A.  I had just graduated from college and was in a situation where I walked into a job as a  project manager, despite being grossly underqualified for the role.  I was a pretty good software engineer, and I managed to trade on that to actually get a  leadership job running a small team. It was a project for Citibank. I spent my first day  reading the documentation about the project, and two days later, my boss was called off to  another job and I was on my own. And the project, the day I started it, was already six  months late.  I did survive it and actually learned a tremendous amount by not having blown myself up in  the course of doing that. But it was a pretty traumatic experience. I’ve tried to make sure  that when we bring people on at our company, we never subject them to anything remotely  like that.  Q.   So what do you do?   A.  We invest a lot in trying to put people through a learning curve. So we have very 
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8 7 11 Your Opinions Are Respected -...

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