Dave Packard’s 11 Simple Rules

Hewlett Packard: David Packard and William Hewlett

Dave Packard, along with Bill Hewlett, friend and fellow graduate of electrical engineering from Stanford University, started Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Packard’s Palo Alto garage with an initial capital investment of US$538. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard are known for their legendary people-oriented management style and community consciousness.

Below are eleven simple rules that reflected Dave Packard’s philosophy of work and life. These rules were first presented by Dave Packard at HP’s second annual management conference in 1958 in Sonoma, California. A memo containing these seven simple rules was discovered in Dave’s correspondence file.

  • 'Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company' by Michael S. Malone (ISBN 1591841526) Think first of the other fellow. This is THE foundation—the first requisite—for getting along with others. And it is the one truly difficult accomplishment you must make. Gaining this, the rest will be “a breeze.”
  • Build up the other person’s sense of importance. When we make the other person seem less important, we frustrate one of his deepest urges. Allow him to feel equality or superiority, and we can easily get along with him.
  • Respect the other man’s personality rights. Respect as something sacred the other fellow’s right to be different from you. No two personalities are ever molded by precisely the same forces.
  • Give sincere appreciation. If we think someone has done a thing well, we should never hesitate to let him know it. WARNING: This does not mean promiscuous use of obvious flattery. Flattery with most intelligent people gets exactly the reaction it deserves—contempt for the egotistical “phony” who stoops to it.
  • Eliminate the negative. Criticism seldom does what its user intends, for it invariably causes resentment. The tiniest bit of disapproval can sometimes cause a resentment which will rankle—to your disadvantage—for years.
  • Avoid openly trying to reform people. Every man knows he is imperfect, but he doesn’t want someone else trying to correct his faults. If you want to improve a person, help him to embrace a higher working goal—a standard, an ideal—and he will do his own “making over” far more effectively than you can do it for him.
  • 'The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company' by David Packard (ISBN 887307477) Try to understand the other person. How would you react to similar circumstances? When you begin to see the “whys” of him you can’t help but get along better with him.
  • Check first impressions. We are especially prone to dislike some people on first sight because of some vague resemblance (of which we are usually unaware) to someone else whom we have had reason to dislike. Follow Abraham Lincoln’s famous self-instruction: “I do not like that man; therefore I shall get to know him better.”
  • Take care with the little details. Watch your smile, your tone of voice, how you use your eyes, the way you greet people, the use of nicknames and remembering faces, names and dates. Little things add polish to your skill in dealing with people. Constantly, deliberately think of them until they become a natural part of your personality.
  • Develop genuine interest in people. You cannot successfully apply the foregoing suggestions unless you have a sincere desire to like, respect and be helpful to others. Conversely, you cannot build genuine interest in people until you have experienced the pleasure of working with them in an atmosphere characterized by mutual liking and respect.
  • Keep it up. That’s all—just keep it up!

For Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard’s legendary management style and the history of Hewlett Packard, read ‘Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World’s Greatest Company’ by Michael S. Malone and ‘The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company’ by David Packard.

Source: HP Retiree Website

The HP Way: Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard’s legendary management style

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, two graduates of electrical engineering from Stanford University, started Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Packard’s Palo Alto garage with an initial capital investment of US$538. Initially, the company was unfocused and worked on a wide range of electronic products for industry and agriculture. HP incorporated on August 18, 1947, and went public on November 6, 1957.

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard made the HP Way official in the year 1957 when the company went public. With the company expanding in leaps and bounds, the founders recognized the need to enlist a set of company objectives to channel the efforts of divisional managers. In forming the HP Way, Hewlett and Packard had a broader foresight of bearing in mind that profit is an enabler of various other valuable objectives, including employees and corporate citizenship.

In the words of Bill Hewlett, the HP Way is “a core ideology … which includes a deep respect for the individual, a dedication to affordable quality and reliability, a commitment to community responsibility, and a view that the company exists to make technical contributions for the advancement and welfare of humanity.”

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard’s legendary management style, which came to be known as the HP Way, has been the topic of many case studies by ivory-tower professionals, management theorists, academics, and Wall Street professionals. The tenets are as relevant today as they ever were.

  1. 'Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company' by Michael S. Malone (ISBN 1591841526) We have trust and respect for individuals. We approach each situation with the belief that people want to do a good job and will do so, given the proper tools and support. We attract highly capable, diverse, innovative people and recognize their efforts and contributions to the company. HP people contribute enthusiastically and share in the success that they make possible.
  2. We focus on a high level of achievement and contribution. Our customers expect HP products and services to be of the highest quality and to provide lasting value. To achieve this, all HP people, especially managers, must be leaders who generate enthusiasm and respond with extra effort to meet customer needs. Techniques and management practices which are effective today may be outdated in the future. For us to remain at the forefront in all our activities, people should always be looking for new and better ways to do their work.
  3. We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity. We expect HP people to be open and honest in their dealings to earn the trust and loyalty of others. People at every level are expected to adhere to the highest standards of business ethics and must understand that anything less is unacceptable. As a practical matter, ethical conduct cannot be assured by written HP policies and codes; it must be an integral part of the organization, a deeply ingrained tradition that is passed from one generation of employees to another.
  4. 'The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company' by David Packard (ISBN 887307477) We achieve our common objectives through teamwork. We recognize that it is only through effective cooperation within and among organisations that we can achieve our goals. Our commitment is to work as a worldwide team to fulfill the expectations of our customers, shareholders and others who depend upon us. The benefits and obligations of doing business are shared among all HP people.
  5. We encourage flexibility and innovation. We create an inclusive work environment which supports the diversity of our people and stimulates innovation. We strive for overall objectives which are clearly stated and agreed upon, and allow people flexibility in working toward goals in ways that they help determine are best for the organization. HP people should personally accept responsibility and be encouraged to upgrade their skills and capabilities through ongoing training and development. This is especially important in a technical business where the rate of progress is rapid and where people are expected to adapt to change.

For Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard’s legendary management style and the history of Hewlett Packard, read ‘Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World’s Greatest Company’ by Michael S. Malone and ‘The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company’ by David Packard.

Four Questions Every Mentor Must Ask


When mentors ask the following five questions in the order presented below, they can precisely form an effective analysis of the mentee and therefore can provide specific, practical guidance.

Question 1: “What are your passions? What do you want to be? What are your aspirations? What do you want to do?”

Enthusiasm is what separates good purposes and opportunism from true achievements. Professionals who pursue exceptional possibilities for their career are passionate about their objectives and persistent in pursuing their goals. Many professionals have good ideas, but only a few are dedicated enough to put themselves on the line for their passions and work hard towards their goals. Understand how your mentee defines success. Employees perform better in their jobs when they are doing what they believe matters and work towards their goals and objectives.

Question 2: “What are your strengths? What has enabled you to be successful in the past? What skill sets do you possess that will help you get where you want to be?”

Very often, leadership traits and skills tend to come together in steady patterns. Exceptional leaders with strong technical backgrounds are often also good at building relationships with the people around them, developing teams, and communicating effectively. Remarkable professionals who are exceptional problem-solvers tend to be strong-minded, self-assured, and cheerful. Strengths contain the mentee’s greatest potential for growth. Ask the mentee what his strengths are — the things he does naturally and well.

Question 3: “What do you think you will need to learn in order to do what you want to do? What constraints have you experienced in similar situations in the past? What feedback have you received?”

Building on the mentee’s strengths is not enough for success. Career success comes from delivering value to an organization and value of a professional’s work is eventually measured by the organization. Therefore, competent professionals who want to mature into great managers and leaders must stop doing what makes them successful in their individual roles and assimilate new competencies. Determine if the mentee has any self-defeating behaviors that could inhibit his success.

Question 4: “What can I do to help you succeed?”

Once you examine the drive and learning opportunities of a mentee, you need to determine what is it that the mentee would like to learn and then ask what experience you, as a mentor, have that might be helpful to the mentee. Asking this question will help you determine if you have the relevant experience and time to make this mentoring relationship effective. Analyzing the answer to this question will also help you maintain your mentoring relationship, which can be just as challenging as finding the right candidate to mentor. By understanding the development needs of the mentee, you can provide structure, expect learning discipline and rigor and establish goals that will enable you to close the mentoring relationship.

Behavioral Interview Questions by Competency: Analytical Problem Solving

Behavioral Interview Questions: Analytical Problem Solving

Analytical problem solving is the ability to use a systematic approach in solving problems through analysis of problem and evaluation of alternate solutions; use logic, mathematics, or other problem solving tools in data analysis or in generating solutions.

  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Thinking back over the last five years of your work, describe a situation in which you had to use mathematics to solve a complex problem. Take your time, remember a good example, and tell me all about it in detail.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate show knowledge/skill in mathematics, perhaps deriving formulas, using modeling techniques, and/or conducting statistical analyses? Was there elementary skill in mathematics, requiring only basic addition/subtraction/multiplication/division?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “To what extent has your past work required you to be skilled in the analysis of technical reports or information? Pick any specific experience, which would highlight your skills in this area and describe it in detail.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate conduct a close review of detailed technical information, requiring a professional education or training to understand? Was there a superficial/ incomplete review of information, perhaps covering materials such as popular magazines?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “What was your greatest success in using the principles of logic to solve technical problems at work? Be specific.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate use inference/deduction to solve a technical problem, using tools of logic such as mathematics or computers? Was there little use of more than obvious facts/procedures for problem solving?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Describe a time when you were proud of your ability to use your mathematical knowledge or research techniques to solve a problem.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate conduct/direct work which used research designs and/or statistics/mathematics? Was there use of only basic clerical skills/elementary mathematics as directed by someone else?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Solving a problem often necessitates evaluation of alternate solutions. Give me an example of a time when you actively defined several solutions to a single problem. Did you use any tools such as research, brain- storming, or mathematics?”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate develop alternative solutions to a problem based on a clarification of objectives and a review of facts/causes? Was there an obvious/standard solution or an autocratic solution, reflecting little specification of alternatives?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Give me an example of any time when you used tools such as survey data, library research, or statistics as important contributors to the definition of a specific problem.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate have a primary role in research design, formal data collection, and interpretation? Was there acceptance of questionable information or assumptions, or over-dependence on others?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Enumerate the analytical tools with which you feel competent, and then give me an example from any time in your working history, which shows your ability to use analytical techniques to define problems or design solutions.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate make an informed decision on which tool was best for a specific task, and use the tool with minimal supervision? Was there little actual use of the tool, even with supervision?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Tell me about a time when you were systematic in identifying potential problems at work. Feel free to display your analytical skills.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate anticipate and identify a problem, then collect data and analyze it? Were there a lack of anticipation/preparation and/or use of a trial-and-error approach?

Behavioral Interview Questions by Competency: Customer-Orientation & Customer Service

Behavioral Interview Questions: Customer-Orientation

Customer-orientation is the ability to show care and concern for customers and make them feel valued; willing to deliver timely and reliable customer support and exceed customer expectations; Ability to create a customer-led orientation in a work group.

  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Describe a time when you chose to exceed, rather than meet, a customer’s expectations. Why did you do so, and what were the results?”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate identify a level of customer support to achieve and actively pursue it? Were there results below the customer’s expectation, or above expectation but due to other than the candidate’s actions?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Describe a time when you went way beyond the call of duty to ensure reliability and make sure your customer’s needs were met.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate take proactive steps, such as making sure a product worked, double-checking delivery schedules, or identifying backup plans? Was there little management of a product/service, and/or little effort to make sure all details were in order?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “All companies have some customers or accounts that are less profitable or more trouble than others do. Describe a time when you made such a customer feel highly valued, possibly leading to additional business.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate show attention to the customer and clearly indicate the high priority of meeting the customer’s needs? Was there inattention to the customer, incomplete or inferior treatment, or a failure to prioritize his/her needs?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Describe a situation in which normal or planned turnaround time or delivery would be too slow for a customer’s needs. How did you address the customer’s needs?”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate take concrete steps to speed up delivery, such as rescheduling, or changing shipping approach? Was there lack of concern for the slowness, or little or superficial effort expended to correct it?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Describe a situation in which you converted a hostile or dissatisfied customer into a repeat buyer.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate take proactive steps to gain the confidence of the customer, perhaps addressing necessary issues or focusing on approaches to improvement? Was there avoidance of the customer and a failure to address the issues?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Describe a situation in which you took initiative to create or improve a customer-led orientation in a work group you managed or were part of. How did you ensure success of this effort?”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate initiate a multifaceted approach, perhaps including education, values analysis, and/or measurement? Was there resentment of the customer or a belief that customer support was someone else’s responsibility?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Customers often need support in deciding exactly what they want. Describe a time when you invested time and effort in helping a customer evaluate his/her needs.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate invest time/effort into meeting with the customer, including asking/answering questions and reviewing options? Were there little effort to help, brief/ forced answers to questions, and little initiative to explain options?
  • Behavioral Interview Question: “Describe a time when your care and concern for a customer was clearly manifested in the way you delivered your product/service.”
    Evaluating the candidate’s answer: Did the candidate attend closely to the customer’s needs, perhaps showing high attention to detail and/or following up on progress or results? Was there an absence of concern, evidenced by little management of the product/ service, perhaps with an assumption that delivery would take care of itself?

Motivation: Praise is better than Criticism

Criticism In the day-to-day rush to get things done, recognizing employees takes a backseat to everything else managers have on their plates. However, praise is important.

A study by Wichita State University found that praise and commendation by a boss is a very strong motivator. The survey also found that nearly three fifths of employees do not receive any form of recognition or appreciation on a regular basis from their supervisors.

Some managers are quick to criticize employees for their mistakes. That employees will be motivated because of the repulsiveness of the criticism and change their behaviors is an absurd notion. For this reason, criticism is very counterproductive. Managers unfortunately do not realize that criticism only motivates employees to do anything to avoid criticism and not focus on doing a better job.

The best managers hit upon creative ways to delivering well-timed, sincere praise to employees who do well. Here is what you can learn from them:

  • The most effective praise is well timed. Good managers praise their employees as soon as the employee displays the desired behavior.
  • Praise is effective only when it is genuine and heartfelt.
  • Managers that excel at recognizing their employees are very specific in their praise. They avoid generalities and discuss identifiable achievements of their employees in such a way that the desired behaviors are reiterated.

Book Synopsis: ‘Shift:’ Carlos Ghosn takes you Inside Nissan’s Historic Revival

Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan

In the year 1999, Japanese automaker Nissan was in a downward spiral. The company had accrued massive debts, severe losses, and a badly damaged brand. Nissan had exhausted its strategic options and its managerial resources. It dreadfully needed a global partner and a new chief executive officer. Renault, the French multinational vehicle manufacturer, answered this call for desperation. Established in 1899, Renault was a so-so European automaker with far-from-inspiring prospects.

Renault had thus obtained a 36.8 percent stake in Nissan. Renault CEO Louis Schweitzer put Carlos Ghosn, the company’s second-in-command, in charge of Nissan. Ghosn seemed a perfect choice for the job. At Renault, Carlos Ghosn had earned his standing as a savage cost-cutter and first-rate manager. The French labor unions had begun to call him “Le Cost Killer.”

When he become heir to the helm at Nissan in 1999, it was clear that Carlos Ghosn had been training all his life for this mandate of turning around Nissan. Ghosn’s multicultural background made him unusually well matched to take on the Nissan challenge.

The Making of Carlos Ghosn

Shift: Inside Nissan's Historic Revival by Carlos Ghosn At Nissan, Carlos Ghosn was the definitive outsider. A multi-disciplinary talent who could speak more than a few languages, Ghosn was born in Brazil to Lebanese parents. As a youngster, he relocated to Lebanon at age six and was educated by Jesuits in Beirut. From there, he relocated to France, where he earned degrees in engineering from the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Mines de Paris, two of France’s most esteemed universities. Alongside, Ghosn learned five languages, a passion for logic and statistical precision, and a gift to perform in unfamiliar—even multi-cultural—landscapes.

In 1978, after graduate studies, Carlos Ghosn joined Michelin, the French tire manufacturer. He swiftly moved up the ranks, from an engineer to plant manager to chief operating officer. He then took a seven-year stint in the United States integrating the Uniroyal-Goodrich operations, which Michelin had just acquired. During his 18 years at Michelin, he established two approaches that would stand him in good stead later in his career: an approach to cross-functional teams, and a methodology to rationalize and consolidate manufacturing operations.

Over the years at Michelin, Carlos Ghosn had recognized that his advancement at the family-owned company was limited. In October 1996, he transited to Renault as its executive vice president for purchasing, manufacturing and R&D. He soon called for upheaval by closing a Renault factory in Belgium and squeezing out billions of operating costs by initiating several efficiency programs with suppliers and in-house units alike. Following a string of efficiency improvements across Renault and consolidations of operating plants, Carlos Ghosn became known as “le cost killer.”

Renault-Nissan Alliance

Carlos Ghosn Led Nissan’s Historic Revival

At Nissan, Carlos Ghosn recognized that crisis was not only essential for organizational transformation, but also a powerful catalyst for it. After years of regretful leadership and disoriented policies, Nissan was headed to bankruptcy. Ghosn first determined just how deep the financial rot ran. He discovered that, inside Nissan, there was a sense of deep denial about the company’s perilous operating and financial condition. Carlos Ghosn went about slashing purchasing costs by 20%, reducing capacity by 30%, closing five factories, and ousting some 20,000 workers through layoffs and attrition. In Japan, large companies were viewed as simply too big to fail. Then Japanese government was expected to rush to the aid of companies if Japan’s keiretsu-linked financial institutions did not.

In his business career, Carlos Ghosn has brought a composed, analytical approach to each managerial problem he has faced. As Ghosn went about in his efforts to transform Nissan, he implemented a quantitative, results-oriented methodology of setting numerical targets and then holding his leaders and their organizations accountable for them. Carlos Ghosn also announced the conclusion of seniority promotions and financial cross-shareholdings with other companies, set meticulous financial targets and declared that he would quit if he did not meet his own demanding targets. His drastic plans made were opposed by Japanese management traditionalists. He was also reprimanded by the powerful Japan Auto Parts Industries Association.

Carlos Ghosn also invested heavily in Renault-Nissan’s technological abilities. He set up cross-functional Renault and Nissan management teams in engineering, design, and marketing. These cross-functional teams were asked to uncover every problem and set new, realistic-but-tough performance goals. In addition, Ghosn was a tough taskmaster and executed with discipline. He made it clear he would not tolerate any backsliding: he writes, “If you disagree with the plan, you’ve got to leave the company.”

Carlos Ghosn with Nissan 350Z

As cost saving programs, consolidation of operations, and reduced reliability on debt improved Nissan’s financial performance and Nissan’s operating efficiency, Carlos Ghosn took courageous steps to invigorate the Nissan brand. He revitalized the Z-series sports-coupe line with the Nissan 350Z, a model that had been terminated previously in 1996. In the U.S., the world’s largest automotive market, Nissan jumped into new market segments with the Nissan Murano SUV and the Nissan Quest minivan. Nissan also flourished from Nissan Titan truck, the Nissan Armada SUV, and the Infiniti QX56, full-size vehicles that accounted for higher profit margins.

As a result, Nissan not only reached Carlos Ghosn’s demanding targets, but also exceeded them. Again, Carlos Ghosn was promoted. In May 2005, he rose to become the president and CEO of Renault.

Currently, Carlos Ghosn is the Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the global strategic alliance that oversees the unique cross-shareholding agreement between Renault and Nissan.

Book Recommendation: “Shift: Inside Nissan’s Historic Revival”

“Shift: Inside Nissan’s Historic Revival”, by Carlos Ghosn and French business journalist Philippe Ries, offers a treasure trove of practical guidance to executives who find themselves in challenging business cultures, especially in a global business environment, and are faced with diverse expectations for engagement of employees and managers.