Business Feel pp 113-126 | Cite as

Leading out of Confusion: Grove’s Crisis at Intel

  • Steven Segal


How does someone lead when they are themselves confused and uncertain? This is a question that Andrew Grove of Intel enables us to address. For unlike Welch, Grove himself underwent the changes that he took Intel through. Whereas Welch steered GE through a transition in which he, as CEO, had, at the outset, a strong intuition of the direction of the change, Grove did not, at the outset of Intel’s crisis have a strong intuition about the direction in which he was taking Intel. Indeed, faced with the threatened collapse of Intel, he was overwhelmed by confusion and uncertainty. He lost his bearing. Yet he was able to think creatively and productively in the experience of having lost his bearing. The shock of the crisis at Intel enabled him to listen to the mood or feel of the organisation in a way that he had taken for granted before. Through turning what he saw and heard into action, he was able to transform the threat to the existence of Intel into an opportunity which opened up new possibilities. More than this, in spite of being in the unknown he was able to take Intel with him on the journey towards a new way of doing things for Intel. It was in the way that he dealt with confusion and uncertainty in himself that paved the way for envisaging Intel in a new way.


Senior Management Middle Manager Creative Destruction Past Generation Memory Chip 
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© Steven Segal 2005

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  • Steven Segal

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