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Intel Employees: Giving Thanks

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Note from the blog manager: After a four-day weekend for the US Thanksgiving holiday, much of my Monday morning was spent catching up on email, news and of course, blogs from Intel employees on Planet Blue, our internal social media platform. This blog post from Richard Taylor, senior vice president and director of Human Resources, was written last week but the message is timeless. (Yes, Richard really does contribute to blogs regularly, as a blogger and as a reader/commenter. I speak from personal experience. He emailed me about a blog post I wrote during my first two months at Intel—I still have the email saved because I was shocked that a senior leader would even notice it!) His post made me smile with his dry humor (after all, he is British), his poignancy and his transparency; characteristics that may sound atypical of a senior leader, but not here at Intel. It also reminded me to give thanks for the great leaders at Intel. They inspire, care and go through the same things you and I go through (read his third bullet below)

This week in the U.S. we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday rooted in the idea of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest. The way it’s celebrated varies widely.

I’ve been in America for many years and now look forward to gathering with friends sharing a meal and watching the Detroit Lions get beaten (well maybe not this year).

I am a sucker for holidays and I do get sentimental. I have been lucky and have much to be thankful for, starting with my son who teaches me never to underestimate how foolish a 22-year old can be, my daughter who knows exactly how to get what her brother wants (but with grace and affection), and my wife, Karen, without whom I would probably be just another English lager lout.

At work there’s much I feel lucky about as well. I initially hesitated to write this because I really thought it would be too over the top. However, on reflection, I do have much to be thankful for here at work. In fact, thankful seems a bit of a wimpy word, so here is what I think is great.

  • We say it so much it is in danger of becoming a cliché. However, it is great that we have such dedicated, smart and compassionate people at Intel. You all speak up, give your views, care about the company and are never shy about telling us when we fall short of expectations. I can’t honestly say I always enjoy all the feedback in the moment, but life with all of you is certainly never dull and always challenging!

  • It’s great that we work in a company that is always seeking to reinvent itself, is financially successful, and is always up for the next challenge. Success is never guaranteed but I wouldn’t swap places with any of our competitors

  • It’s also great that when I wrote an email venting about something, and accidentally sent it to the very people I was venting about, that the RECALL function actually worked this time and they never saw it.

I could go on but that’s enough cheerleading for now. We have just completed the Organizational Health Survey and the response rate exceeded all previous records. I will spend part of my holiday reading your comments and looking at the scoring. I am sure that your voices will resonate powerfully as you tell us what we need to do to make the company even stronger.

I wish all of you a great Thanksgiving (or any other kind of bountiful harvest) and if you’d care to share what you’re feeling lucky about in your own harvest, I’d love to hear it!