10Implications for Leadership

Tom Watson Sr., the founder of IBM, once said in an interview many years ago that he wanted IBM to be like an “industrial family”—a family where your duty is to those you serve and to those who work in the organization.29 For years he focused on IBM customers and on fair compensation for employees, and that became one of the things IBM was known for as it grew to become one of the most successful and influential companies in the world. Tom Watson Sr. also introduced the THINK concept—an idea where he made sure every employee was encouraged to bring ideas forward every day. THINK signs were posted everywhere so employees would see them no matter what direction they turned. THINK became known as a symbol of IBM.

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