My name is Philip C. Todd and I set about understanding leadership over 25 years ago when I realized that, with only one exception, the senior leaders of every company I had worked for were operating in a way that was unintelligible to me. Why were they making decisions that made no sense for the good of the organization? So, my quest began. I am an engineer and I enjoy answering questions. I started reading business magazines, Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, Strategy + Business, Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review, and I did not find answers. I got a Master of Engineering Management and a Master of Business Administration degree and still I found no answers.
I studied behavioral psychology to learn how people learn and found the answers in unlikely places that most psychologists don’t know about. I found adult development theory learned that people develop even after reaching adulthood and that there are stages we go through the same way that children do. I studied organizational systems and how they change, or don’t, and I found change theory and understood why some problems never go away because the wrong solution is being applied. I learned about chaos and complexity theory and how we have trouble understanding anything that does not behave like a machine.
I learned that management is a technology and leadership is an art. Artists must have a full command of the technology to be free to express themselves through art and I finally realized that I had found the answer I had been seeking. The power of the question lies in the struggle to answer it, not in the answer itself.
I have been blessed to have had a wide variety of experiences during my life that have contributed to who I am and that perspective may contribute to your understanding of what is written on the other pages here. When I left the university as an electrical engineer I fell into the field of power electronics and worked for a number of companies in that field. As a consequence of that, virtually every computer in the world has some of my handiwork in it due to work I did for Intel many years ago. I am also a rocket scientist since I designed the power units for deep space engines. I have a number of other bits functioning perfectly on orbit as well. In recent years I have worked as a weapons master feeding large amounts of controlled energy to directed energy weapons. I am generally regarded as one of the top people in the power electronics field globally and at one point published extensively. Many of those articles and application notes are still regarded as industry standards.
Along the way I have met some excellent managers and some who were somewhat less than excellent, a lot less, as was noted above. This encouraged me to spend time at places such as the Esalen Institute in Big Sur contemplating my navel and those of others. It also brought me to the study of change theory, adult development theory, and complexity theory, all three of which I apply to the article reviews I write here and which you can learn more about on the Essay pages. There is a bit of systems engineering too.