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How to Make Tech Teams Stronger with Leadership and Coaching

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What makes an effective leader?

In this InTechnology video, Camille talks with Tom Garrison, Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer with the Intel PC Client Group. They get into essential traits for effective leadership, how to build strong technical teams, and the difference between leadership and coaching

Essential Traits for Effective Leadership

Tom highlights four critical attributes that make a leader admirable, including honesty, competence, vision, and the ability to inspire. He observes that these aren’t innate traits for most individuals, but skills acquired through experience. Tom explains that these characteristics must be consistently demonstrated to your team to increase your confidence and credibility as a leader. This involves active listening, promoting the team’s interests, and charting the path to their continued success. Clarity in communication and receiving honest feedback about your performance as a leader are also crucial. These attributes, while vital for the tech industry, are universally applicable across all leadership spheres.

How to Build Strong Technical Teams

In explaining how to build effective teams, Tom employs two distinct analogies: basketball and chess. He likens team building to a basketball game, where a coach ensures a balanced spread of skills among the players on the court. A team whose members all excel in the same area becomes susceptible to weaknesses that opponents can exploit. Analogously, a leader must be strategic in utilizing the varying strengths and weaknesses of the team members.

In the chess analogy, Tom perceives the team members as pawns who grow into more versatile pieces, aspiring to reach the queen’s status. For a team to thrive, a leader must devise strategies to foster the team members’ skills, catering to both individual and collective needs. Regular, open communication is necessary to ascertain if team members need more challenges, if they’re overwhelmed, or if they’re better suited for a different role.

Difference Between Leadership and Coaching

While they might seem similar at first glance, leadership and coaching indeed have distinct roles. Leadership entails focusing on team-specific elements, while coaching revolves around assisting individuals in tackling challenges. Coaching doesn’t necessarily involve giving advice but is more about helping individuals refine their thinking processes to improve their performance. Tom suggests that coaching is an art, and leaders today recognize its value in enhancing individual skills and extracting the best from their teams.

Tom Garrison, Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Intel PC Client Group

Tom Garrison leadership coaching professional development

Tom Garrison, with over twenty years at Intel, has held several leadership positions, gaining extensive experience in strategic planning, cybersecurity, product development, and sales. He currently heads the Client Strategy Management Team, focusing on strategic growth and partnership agreements. Apart from co-hosting the InTechnology podcast, Tom is an executive leadership coach. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Portland State University, where he now also serves as an instructor.


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#leadership #coaching #professionaldevelopment

The views and opinions expressed are those of the guests and author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Intel Corporation.


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