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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Leadership – How to Achieve Your Vision

Comments (7)

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.

  • David

    I’m proud of my Uncle Charlie, too. He never made it far in life, whatever that means, but he worked hard as long as he could. Made a few (very bad) mistakes, but picked himself back up, figured out what he’d done wrong and what he had to do in the future to avoid doing it again, and buckled down and did it, painful as it was.
    He taught me some useful lessons, including the value of common sense and perseverance, and the power of love to help people change themselves. He’s dying of AIDS now, and not really in his right mind all that often, but we humans are not our endings, we are our entire stories.
    Sorry this is incredibly off topic (unless you stretch pretty far), but your post reminded me that we all ought to be thankful for our Uncle Charlies, whatever their names are, and for the things they can teach us.

  • http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/eai/leadership/archives/004155.asp Thinking Out Loud: Thought Leadership from an Enterprise Architect

    Becoming a strong technical leader

    In the profession of IT, having a strong ego can benefit one’s career immensely. When it comes to enterprise architecture I am firm in my belief that I understand how to apply it to a corporation’s desire to use IT…

  • http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/eai/leadership/archives/004182.asp Thinking Out Loud: Thought Leadership from an Enterprise Architect

    Enterprise Architecture and Strong Technical Leadership

    Several days ago, I blogged about my first meeting with my mentor. During this discussion, he had asked me to think about what attributes am I missing. I not only thought about his question but came up with a revelation…

  • Privliged one

    My Dad used to have the plesure of working with Charlie and Cindy Feld at their ranch in Aubrey, Tx . He worked there for 12 devoting years and i grew up there.

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