"... expose ourselves to the winds of change."

Recently I was skimming a number of Andy Grove* quotes from his book "Only the Paranoid Survive" and kept coming back to this quote:

“The person who is the star of a previous era is often the last one to adapt to change, the last one to yield to logic of a strategic inflection point** and tends to fall harder than most.” 

(My interpretation - Do not assume that what has made you a star in the past will make you one in the future... because it may not - Forever search out how to do things differently and change with ever evolving situations.)

I also liked this quote:

“As we throw ourselves into raw actions, our senses and instincts will rapidly be honed again”

(My Interpretation -  Just put yourself out there in new situations and do it - you will quickly start making things happen and will get better as you go.)

And this:

“The ability to recognize that the winds have shifted and to take appropriate action before you wreck your boat is crucial to the future of an enterprise”

(My interpretation - Be aware of what is going on around you, be curious and don't dismiss the facts until it's too late to do anything.)

And this one:   

“Admitting that you need to learn something new is always difficult. It is even harder if you are a senior manager who is accustomed to the automatic deference which people accord you owing to your position. But if you don’t fight it, that very deference may become a wall that isolates you from learning new things. It all takes self-discipline.”

(My interpretation - Pride and Arrogance will prevent you from learning, growing and continuing your success.)

There was this one too:

“Strategic change doesn't just start at the top. It starts with your calendar”

(My interpretation - Stop talking about change, write it down and do something.)

And finally this one: 

“The Lesson is, we all need to expose ourselves to the winds of change”

(No interpretation)


Andrew Stephen "Andy" Grove (born András István Gróf, 2 September 1936) is a Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer, and author. He is a science pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary at the age of 20 and moved to the United States where he finished his education. He later became CEO of Intel and helped transform the company into the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors.

As a result of his work at Intel, and from his books and professional articles, Grove had a considerable influence on the management of modern electronics manufacturing industries worldwide. He has been called the "guy who drove the growth phase" of Silicon Valley. Steve Jobs, when he was considering returning to be Apple's CEO, called Grove, who was someone he "idolized," for his personal advice. One source notes that by his accomplishments at Intel alone, he "merits a place alongside the great business leaders of the 20th century. (Wikipedia)

** A strategic inflection point can be defined as the time of transition of company's (or person's) competitive position that requires the company (or person) to change its (their) current path and adapt to the new situation, or risk declining profits (well being).