everything I learned abt lead was from waiting tables

everything I learned abt lead was from waiting tables - Im...

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I’m Prepared for Adversity. I Waited Tables. Published: June 5, 2010 This interview with Jen-Hsun Huang, the president and chief executive of Nvidia , a maker of graphics chips, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant. Dan Neville/The New York Times Jen-Hsun Huang is president and C.E.O. of Nvidia, a maker of graphics chips in Santa Clara, Calif. He says restaurant work taught him how to deal with chaos. Q. What’s it like to work at Nvidia? A. Let me tell you about the two elements that are our core values and that I most treasure and that I spent a lot of time nurturing. One is the tolerance to take risks and the ability to learn from failure. This ability to celebrate failure, if you will, needs to be an important part of any company that’s in a rapidly changing world. And the second core value is intellectual honesty — the ability to call a spade a spade, to as quickly as possible recognize that we’ve made a mistake, that we’ve gone the wrong way, and that we learn from it and quickly adjust. These came about because, when Nvidia was founded, we were the first company of our kind, but we rapidly almost went out of business. It turned out the technology didn’t work at all. We raised all this money. We hired 100 people. We built the technology and it just didn’t work. I learned a lot about leadership during that time. Q. What did you learn? A. I learned that it was O.K. for C.E.O.’s to say that the strategy didn’t work, that the technology didn’t work, that the product didn’t work, but we’re still going to be great and let me tell you why. I think that’s what’s thrilling about leadership — when you’re holding onto literally the worst possible hand on the planet and you know you’re still going to win. How are you still going to win? Because that’s when the character of the company really comes out. It was during the time that we really cultivated and developed what I consider to be our core values today. I don’t think you can create culture and develop core values during great times. I think it’s when the company faces adversity of extraordinary proportions, when there’s no reason for the company to survive, when you’re looking at incredible odds — that’s when culture is developed, character is developed.
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I think culture is a big word for corporate character. It’s the personality of the company, and now the personality of our company simply says this: If we think something is really worthwhile and we have a great idea, and it’s never been done before but we believe in it, it’s O.K. to take a chance. It’s O.K. to try, and if it doesn’t work, learn from it, adjust and keep failing forward. And
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course CSR 309 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue.

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everything I learned abt lead was from waiting tables - Im...

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