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Leadership in the RFID Era

Mar 02, 2016

中文版 Chinese version

So you want to be a successful leader in the RFID industry. Well, many leadership principles that are widely accepted in the high tech space will apply to RFID as well. But there are some concepts that are specific in the RFID industry. Here is a short glossary of buzz words for leadership in the RFID era.

1. Factory programming: The most important decisions that you will make are related to who you hire. A good rule of thumb is to hire people that are smarter than you. But I would put even more emphasis on how well the new team member fits the company culture. After all, new skills can be taught but changing someone’s factory programming is a lot harder. A good way to find out who to hire is to let the other team members interview the candidate before making the final decision.

2. Downlink: Ignorance is bliss? Maybe. But if you share information with your team on a need-to-know basis, how do you expect them to come up with new ideas? The better they understand the higher level goals of the company, the better they are able to help you reach them. I guarantee that the time spent explaining “why” will be returned ten-fold in commitment and creativity.

3. Listen before talk (LBT): What do you do when you are making a business decision that potentially has a big impact on the future of the company? Remember that you already have people smarter than you working for you. Why not listen what they have to say? Make them a part of the decision making process. Of course, the final decision is your responsibility but your team will be more committed to the decision if they have had their say. And I guarantee that the decision will be better.

4. Anti-collision: Every successful organization has people that don’t think alike, and that will cause some friction from time to time. But as long as all team members are acting in the best interest of the company, a healthy amount of conflict fosters growth. After all, if everyone is in complete harmony, some opportunities and ideas will be missed. So hold back with your anti-collision procedures, and resist your natural urges to act as a referee in every disagreement.

5. Error correction: The only way to avoid mistakes is not to do anything. And I believe in a corporate culture where people do not need to be afraid of making mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes may be visible to the customers as well: Maybe the new software release has a bug that was not caught in quality assurance, or maybe an item is accidentally left out of a delivery. The most important thing is to decisively make it right for the customer. The overall customer experience can still be positive if error correction is quick and professional.

This post was inspired by the AIM RFID Glossary.

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