The Power of Ownership

Leadership Development | Stoke Consulting | Management Consultants

The Power of Ownership: Lessons from Intel’s Culture 

TL;DR: My journey from intern to global leadership at Intel highlighted the profound impact of ownership. This principle is crucial for personal growth, team development, and business success. Incorporating a culture of ownership through behavioral interviewing and strategic programs has significantly enhanced market value and facilitated business expansion. 

A True Story: 

In 1993, my journey at Intel began—not as a seasoned professional, but as an eager junior college intern at Fab 7 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. This experience was not just an entry into the world of manufacturing and supply chain; it was the beginning of my immersion in a profound culture of ownership, which I have come to recognize as the foundation of true success. 

Intel’s culture introduced me to the concept of AR—not the anticipated “Action Required” directive, but a deeper, more personal ethos of “Assuming Responsibility.” This nuance, which I discovered in an article on my manager’s office wall and highlighted by COO Craig Barrett (future CEO), emphasized not merely following orders but taking initiative and committing to personal accountability. 

During my tenure, I deeply engaged with behavioural interviewing, a method that evaluates past behaviour as a predictor of future performance. This approach was crucial in forming teams that had not only the necessary skills but also a deep sense of ownership and a commitment to excellence. 

Ownership is a complex yet vital trait for both personal and professional advancement. It promotes continuous learning, proactive problem-solving, and the bravery to enact change.  

This mindset became crucial when I was charged with revitalizing an Australian manufacturing and supply chain operation that was failing to meet its ambitious growth targets, hampered by inadequate skills, lack of strategic planning, inefficient processes, and suboptimal technology deployment. A pivotal move in transforming the operation involved embracing the concept of ownership. I initiated a 5-person supply chain graduate program, which, despite being cost-effective, was initially underestimated as a means to enhance skills. However, by meticulously selecting candidates based on their potential and behaviour, we injected energy and passion into the operation. This approach not only revolutionized our manufacturing and supply chain processes, leading to a doubling of growth but also significantly enhanced the market value of the participants by 50-75%. 

My experience at Intel has cemented my belief that ownership is essential for success in any field. It extends beyond accountability; it is a pursuit of excellence. 

A Call to Embrace Ownership 

Intel’s ownership culture isn’t just a personal journey; it’s a universal blueprint for leadership and team growth. By adopting this mindset, we unlock our potential and lead teams to achieve beyond expectations.  In challenging times, prioritizing ownership in recruitment transforms not just teams but entire business landscapes, creating a workforce that’s resilient and adaptable. 

Reach out to Stoke Consulting via team@stokeconsulting.com.au for tailored consultation and strategies to address improved leadership effectiveness. Our expert guidance can help transform your team’s performance to a high-performing path and assist you to achieve sustainable success.

James Bierer
Stoke Consulting

James, an accomplished international leader and strategist, excels in aligning global business operations with revenue targets. Proficient in supply chain, business systems, procurement, and manufacturing across diverse industries, he employs a data and process-driven approach. Collaborating with executives, James has transformed operational challenges into lucrative outcomes for companies across 13 countries and 4 continents, ranging from startups to Fortune 50 corporations.