Leadership the Hard Way is a different kind of book about leadership. Part memoir, part manifesto, author Dov Frohman provides a bracingly honest view of leadership as seen from the dynamic edge of the global economy.
Frohman draws on his experience as an historic figure in the computing industry and a global high-tech pioneer to take on the thorny challenges of leadership in a turbulent economy. In today’s business environment, he argues, effective leadership is not a skill that can be taught. Rather, it is more akin to a form of wisdom that aspiring leaders must acquire on their own through a highly personal engagement with turmoil and change.
Leadership the Hard Way combines a set of creative and counterintutive principles of leadership with dramatic and informative stories drawn from Frohman’s life and career. He describes how his experience as a Jewish child in hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland taught him that the first responsibility of the leader is to insist on the organization’s survival in a world where survival can never be taken for granted; how his encounter with the U.S. counterculture in Berkeley in the 1960s convinced him that the successful leader must always act against the current of conventional wisdom; and how his invention of the EPROM, the first reprogrammable semiconductor memory, made him see the value of always being on the look-out for unanticipated, random opportunities. Finally, Frohman recounts how he used these principles to create Intel Israel and build it into an innovative and resilient organization able to survive and thrive in a fast-changing industry, semiconductors, and in one of the most volatile regions of the world, the Middle East.
Leadership the Hard Way is also studded with strikingly original and yet always practical wisdom about how to succeed in the necessarily difficult task of becoming a self-taught leader—from the highly personal perspective of a leader who has been in the trenches, survived the ups and the downs, and knows where the landmines are buried. “Dov’s unique experiences have given him a perspective on leadership you won’t find anywhere else,” writes leadership guru Warren Bennis in the Foreword to the book. “We rarely see this kind of transparency from our leaders, so take advantage of it while you can.”