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I’m really proud of my Uncle Charlie (Charlie Feld – EVP of Portfolio Management at EDS.) He’s one of the most extraordinary managers and leaders I’ve ever met and had the pleasure of working with (and investing in.) He’s got an incredibly challenging task in front of him as he works with Mike Jordan and the rest of the EDS leadership team to turn around an IT institution that’s had a rough few years and in Jordan’s words, “I knew this company, and I knew the founders. This was the Marine Corps,” says Jordan, a former Navy officer. “But when I came here it was the Girl Scouts.”
Charlie has an easily accessible column on Leadership in CIO Magazine. His most recent article concerns the three skills a leader needs to get the job done: (1) Partnerships Need Reinforcement, (2) Decisiveness Demands Confidence, and (3) To Get Focused, Get Together. Part of the magic of Charlie is that his management theory isn’t impenetrable academic stuff or theoretical philosophy based on qualitative and quantitative analysis of a large data set – it’s common sense in simple language and concepts based on deep experience. And – it all holds together. Other articles in this series include “How to Read the Signs” and “How to Build a Great Team.” Go read them – they are short and worth every minute.
As I grew up, I heard from my dad, my uncle, and their dad (who we called – simply – Jack) to tell it like it is. Jack used to say “I’m surrounded by typhoons (he lived in Florida – we never made it to “tycoon status” with him) – just spit it out and say it.” Charlie exemplifies this and provides a model that all CIOs, IT leaders, and managers can learn from.