Today, Pat Gelsinger, Chief Technology Officer for Intel and author of the book Balancing Your Family, Faith, and Work, talks with Dennis Rainey about the benefits of a personal mission statement.
Today, Pat Gelsinger, Chief Technology Officer for Intel and author of the book Balancing Your Family, Faith, and Work, talks with Dennis Rainey about the benefits of a personal mission statement.
Bob: Successful companies often understand clearly their mission. Successful people are the same way. Here is the chief technology officer of Intel, Pat Gelsinger.
Pat: As I've encouraged people to write their own mission statement, I've just seen them open up, you know, like a flower coming into season, where they start to say, "Oh, how can I join God in what He is doing with the skills and talents that He has give me." And it just changes the entire perspective that you bring to daily living.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Wednesday, February 21st. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We'll hear more about what's in Pat Gelsinger's personal mission statement today and maybe think about some things that ought to be in yours.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. I remember, this was back many years ago, I was involved in sales, and I went to one of these sales training workshops, you know, and they wanted us to begin our workshop by talking about our goals.
And they talked about, you know, you might have a goal for a vacation house or a new car or a boat or – there were all kinds of goals that they wanted – they threw out there and said, "What are your goals? Write them down," and this is how you were going to begin your sales training day.
Well, I was kind of a smart aleck. I know you find that a little hard to believe, knowing me today, but …
Dennis: You were more mature back then.
Bob: I stopped and thought about that, and I said, "Okay, what are my goals?" And I wrote down, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." I said, "That's kind of it." And so when it came to my turn in the sales workshop, you know, and I said that, I think the sales trainer was a little frustrated with me, because I kind of was blowing his whole illustration for where he wanted to take us.
But, really, when you pull back, that was kind of my main goal, and the rest of the workshop didn't go very well.
Pat: That's the life in sales didn't last.
Dennis: No, but, you know, what is good, Bob, is you had thought it through, what you were living for, and whether or not he embraced that, that's another issue. But, for you, that was your ultimate value, your ultimate goal, and what your life was all about and, frankly, it took a lot of courage to be able to make that statement in an audience like that.
Bob: Aw, shucks.
Dennis: Well, we're going to talk about goals and mission statements and how you can write one. Unless the wives think that this is only for the men, I have to tell you that this past week, while Barbara and I were away for a getaway, she said, "Would you help me write a personal mission statement?"
Now, we're at the point of being empty nesters, and she was expressing to me the need to narrow her focus down to a statement, a personal statement of vision for her life that would help her determine what her life is all about, and I don't know of a woman or a man who couldn't use a more profound statement of how they're to live than by having a personal mission statement.
We have with us someone who has written a personal mission statement and attempts to live by one and has written about it in a book called "Balancing Your Family, Faith and Work." Pat Gelsinger joins us again on FamilyLife Today. Pat, welcome back.
Pat: It's a pleasure to be with you again.
Dennis: We've shared earlier that Pat is a senior vice president for business products with Intel. He has worked for them for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Linda, have four children. They live in Oregon, and this book is really the story of your working career, but it really is ultimately a statement of trying to live a life of value, isn't it?
Pat: Absolutely. It's an intentional life practice.
Dennis: What led you to the point of writing a personal mission statement?
Pat: Well, I had been having a fabulous career. School, I had finished by bachelors, finished my master's, I had some great success in some projects at Intel, finished chips like the 486 that was seen as the leader. I had published my first book, "Programming the 8386." You read that one, didn't you, Dennis?
Dennis: I did, yeah.
Pat: Yeah, it was a real thriller.
Bob: Bob had that one for a quiet time.
Pat: Yeah, the last chapter was really pretty exciting, right? When you turned on that first paging mode, it was pretty thrilling.
Bob: I'll never forget it. It gave me chills.
Pat: But, you know, I finished my first book, I had my first patent, I was an inventor, and then I got promoted to be the youngest VP at Intel and, all of a sudden, I had been just passionately pursuing different agendas, objectives I wanted to get done. When I got them finished, here, at 32, and, all of a sudden, I'm, like, you know, the very day I should feel the most excited about my career, I didn't know what was next.
I got to this point of severe disillusionment. "Okay, where am I going? What do I want to get done? What do I want to accomplish?" And that got me to this point, and it took me about a year of deep self-introspection to say, "Okay, what do I want to do with the most precious resource God has given me – my time – utilizing His resources fully – the skills, talents, and capabilities, and then lay out an agenda for the rest of my life?"
And that was this year's project that resulted in my personal mission statement.
Bob: And how did you even come up with one? Did you take a long retreat and go to a cabin in the woods and pray and meditate?
Pat: Well, there was certainly some personal quiet time associated with it. I did some drafting, you know, looked at some books on the subject, read, and tried to get some models from some of those, and then, ultimately, I did a first draft, stuck it in the drawer and didn't look at it for a month.
Then I pulled it out and sort of ripped it up and did it again and did that about four or five times, and after I got to about the fifth or sixth revision, it got to be pretty good. And since I finished that at the age of 32, I've only done modest revisions to the mission statement that you hold now, and it's worked very well.
Maybe every decade, as you go through a different season of life you should be updating it and reflecting it, but it's been a powerful process that really has given me a picture of where I want to get to and how I want to use that valuable resource of time.
Dennis: And how do you use a personal mission statement? I mean, obviously, it's good to put in print and hang it on the wall and go visit occasionally and read and look at, but how, practically, do you use it every day?
Pat: Well, come back to it and say, "Okay, how did I use today? God gave me 24 hours today, how did I parcel it up?" And am I putting – you know, if I look out over a week or a month, have I put my time consistent with my mission statement and, if not, how am I going to adjust it?
And then pull it out, read it regularly, and then I grade myself on it, and I do it at tax time. I'm already depressed about taxes. So it's a good time to go and – you know, literally, I've been grading myself on it for over 15 years now of seeing how I've done against it each year.
And I'll say, "Okay, did I get my book reading in? Did I get my Scripture memorization in? How did I do in terms of each one of those goals that I have for myself?"
Bob: So underneath your mission statement, you've got a list of specific objectives?
Pat: Yeah, I have a mission statement, I have a list of my values and then, finally, specific goals I want to accomplish.
Bob: Give us your mission statement. What is it?
Pat: Well, it reads as follows – "I will be a Christian husband, family man, and businessman. I will use every resource God provides me to carry out His work on earth as set forth below." And then below I go on to the values, and these are sort of the things if you'd say, "Who is Pat Gelsinger?" these are the things I'd want people to say, and then I read them – "Work hard in all I do" …
Dennis: No, no, wait, wait, wait. I want to go back to the mission statement, and I want to hear how you grade yourself. I really liked that for a moment. Let's just go through there. The first one is you're going to be a Christian husband, right? How do you grade yourself there?
Pat: Well, some of my specific goals are am I dating my wife regularly? So I'll say "How did I do this past year dating my wife regularly?" Other ones will be "Have I supported her?" And I'll say "Have I been helping around the house?" "Have I been demonstrating to her that I absolutely cherish her as my spouse, and in what ways have I been doing that or what ways haven't I?" "What am I changing in my life to carry out being a Christian husband?"
Dennis: There's two words you use in your mission statement that you say everything else – your goals and your values and all your life hinges around?
Pat: Yes. Every resource that God has given me certain things. I'm saying, "How can I apply everything that He has given me to carry out His will, His desire. He designed me a certain way. How can I use every skill, every dollar, everything He's given me to execute that plan on earth."
Bob: I've had guys come to me, and we've talked about vocational options, and they've said, "Gee, I don't know if I should take this new job. I don't know what I should be doing. I'm wondering what I ought to be at this stage of life," and one of the things I've always told them is I think you look at how God's made you, and then you say, "How can I maximize how God's made me for kingdom impact?" That's really what you're talking about, isn't it?
Pat: Absolutely, and I think intentional living saying "Here's what I've got, here's the skills and resources, here is where I want to go and how." In every situation, every day, every week, am I moving in that direction?
Bob: So a guy who knows that you're a corporate VP at Intel, and he'd say, "Okay, so how is this leveraging your life for God? Aren't you really working for the shareholders?"
Pat: Well, I am working for the shareholders. I'm working for the employees. I'm working for the care and sustenance of my family as well. But ultimately is how can that platform be used for the kingdom?
I've had many Christians at Intel say, "Oh, if Pat's public about his faith, I can step forward as well." I've had other people say, "Oh, we've seen your witness in your life, and that impacted us." You know, few of us, a few of us have the life of being full-time ministers. The rest of us are called to full-time ministry in our workplace in whatever vocation God has called us to.
Dennis: Pat, as I'm listening to you talk about that, I think about the command of Scripture that we are to glorify God. Now, the idea there in Scripture is we are to honor Him with our lives, and, really, everything about your mission statement is that you want to honor God with your life. You want to honor Him as a husband, as a family man, as a businessman, and you want to use all the resources – the financial, the talent, the abilities, all the time He's given you to be a part of what God's accomplishing on the planet.
You know, that's a great statement for any man, any woman, wherever they are regardless of their job. They don't have to be a vice president of Intel to maximize a mission statement like that.
Pat: Yes, absolutely. And as I've encouraged people to write their own mission statement, I've just seen them just open up, you know, like a flower coming into season, where they start to say, "Oh, how can I join God in what He is doing with the skills and talents that He's given me? What ministries can I start? How can I become the high priest of my household? How can my children be a legacy for me for generations to come?" And it just changes the entire perspective that you bring to daily living.
Dennis: As you look at your job, have there been those moments when this mission statement has impacted a decision you've had to make, a choice you've had to make, between – well, maybe something that is on the gray side in the ethics arena? It seems to me that businessmen, all the time, are facing these issues, and they may not be as clearly focused as you are.
Do you remember an illustration of an ethical issue you faced where this statement helped you make a decision?
Pat: Certainly, and I've been fortunate to work at a company that's highly ethical like Intel that runs by what have been recognized in the industry as great business practices. But every one of us, through our daily activities, has to live that out. And a couple of cases, I was specifically named in lawsuits against Intel. My name was one of the offending parties that was called out specifically, and, boy, I had to look deeply inside of myself and did I execute everything perfectly? Was I, in fact, violating any of our legal agreements with any of these parties that we work for? Was there even the slightest lapse of ethical behavior on my part?
And, ultimately, I could say that because I work so hard to live that out, I could be very confident that, absolutely, that was the case. But when Intel was sued by DEC or by Intergraph, I was in the middle of some of those enormous lawsuits.
Dennis: And, you know, it sounds kind of clinical here in the studio to be talking about this, but in the age of Enron, where there have been corporate executives who have made choices that ended up in lawsuits where they've been convicted and found guilty, these really are interesting days to be alive, and our choices do matter.
Pat: Absolutely, and I think people around the globe are embracing essentially Christian practices because of their absolute ethical and moral purity.
Bob: I'm looking at some of the goals that you've listed, and the way you broke your mission statement out, you've got the personal mission statement, you list 12 values that support that mission statement, and then 21 goals that are kind of the measurables. You've got things in here like "write a book explaining the things God's taught you through your life for your children, your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren."
I suppose this accomplishes that mission?
Pat: Yes, you're holding it.
Bob: Number four can be scratched off the list?
Pat: Well, unless God has another book in mind.
Bob: That's what I'm wondering. Do you get to a point – because – for example, number 18 – "become fluent in at least one additional language."
Pat: I'm working on Chinese.
Dennis: My daughter would have the greatest respect for you. She's a senior at the university right now, in her third year of Chinese, and she is struggling. I mean, she's really struggling. She says it's a tough language.
Pat: Very hard.
Bob: At the point you become fluent, do you scratch that off?
Pat: Well, some of these, like the book one, when I was challenged by a friend. I had spoken on the subject, and he said, "You've really got to write this down." I said, "No, no." Then I went back and read my mission statements and, like, "There it is, man, God won't let me off on this one." So I felt convicted at that point to actually go, sit down, and start developing the manuscript for the book.
Some of them, as I complete them, yes, I'll probably do a revision. Like I say, as we're coming up on empty nesting, it's probably about time to think about the next revision of the mission statement.
Bob: One of your top goals here is to have all four of your children make a personal committee to faith in Christ. They've all done that, right?
Bob: And "play an active role in leading them to Christian maturity," and you've done that.
Bob: And so, again, I look at this and think are you hoping that by 50, 55, you can scratch these off and start with a new list of 21?
Pat: Well, some of them are perpetual. Some of them are "read so much a year." "Memorize so many new Scriptures; fast once a week." And those live on forever, but some of them I do hope to get done and replace them with other goals. But it really is saying, "Okay, where do I want to get to?" And am I taking the steps today to prepare myself for those potentials in the future?
Bob: And if you don't have that, if you don't know where you want to get to, then you don't know where you're going, do you?
Pat: Just punch a clock and …
Dennis: … any road will get you there.
Bob: That's right.
Dennis: No doubt about it. Now, how do you go back and evaluate these goals? Do you do it on an annual basis? Practically, I'm thinking of a mom who may want to set some goals for her family at this stage in her life in terms of raising her children. And she's thinking, "Where do I find the time to do this?"
Now, a businessman can have a business retreat, but a wife and a mother may find it a little more difficult. How do you go about evaluating these?
Pat: I look at them periodically, usually at least once a quarter, and I'll pull them out when questions come up. But once a year, I sit down and formally grade them and, like I said, that's a good thing to do at tax time, I'm already depressed.
Dennis: And grade as in A, B, C?
Pat: How I've done. I said "Memorize this many Scriptures." Well, how many have I done this year? How have I done on exercising and that's sort of an A, B, C grade, but each one of them be very specific.
Bob: Have you had some years where your grade point's been pretty low?
Pat: Yeah, I've had some bad years. And it's also a statement of what I want to become. I'm not working on all of them right now. When I took my new job, I stopped taking Chinese lessons, you know, just too busy. It's a hard language to learn, I'm just couldn't put enough time to it. I'll pick that one up again in a year or two.
Dennis: So these are lifetime goals?
Pat: Yeah, a long period of time.
Dennis: What's the most recent memory verse that you've memorized that you can remember?
Pat: That's a little bit unfair, Dennis.
Dennis: No, it's not. I was asking for the one you could remember.
Pat: So – 2 Peter, chapter 1:7-11 – the ladder of maturity – "For this very reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness, to your goodness knowledge, to your knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness love. And if you do these things in increasing measure, you will not fall, will have an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." I think I got it about right.
Bob: Good for you.
Dennis: That's a Level A, I think, right there on that one.
Bob: Absolutely. Okay, so if somebody who has heard us talking about this wants to get started, I guess, obviously, get a copy of your book and be coached through the process. But you'd say do it over a period of time?
Pat: Yeah, this is hard work. Don't think you're going to just sit down one afternoon over a cup of coffee and do it. Start one afternoon over a cup of coffee, but expect to take some time, and after you have a draft in hand, give it to people close to you – yes, your spouse. This is the person that you want to be married to 10, 15 years from now. Some of the people that you might be mentoring with; the people that you respect in your life, and have them give you some honest and maybe tough feedback.
Dennis: And the thing I like about your goals is they're not just in one area of your life. I think for businessmen, we typically write business goals of how we want to be measured, but you've got all kinds of stuff, like Bob was talking about – everything from exercise and leading Bible studies and fasting one day a week for your spiritual health.
You've got practically every area of your life that reflects your mission statement as a man. And I think that's the bottom line, Bob, is that as followers of Christ, our lives should be well-rounded. We should have goals in these areas, and I think Pat is exhorting us here around something I've been thinking about doing, but you've finally – you've encouraged me to kick this into gear, and I'm not only going to help Barbara with it, but I'm also going to get some more specifics down around some things I want to accomplish as well.
Pat: Well, that sounds like, whether our listeners got anything out of today's radio program, I think we hit a homerun here. Can I come back and grade your mission statement here?
Dennis: I'll tell you what, when you become president of Intel, you can come back and grade how I'm doing on my goals and mission statement. Is it a deal?
Pat: Well, that's in God's hands at this point. I want to come back and grade them regardless.
Dennis: He's a real diplomat. This is how you become president of Intel, you're a diplomat like this.
Bob: You know, seriously, I was sitting down with some friends recently who were talking about their family motto.
Bob: And our family never had a family motto. But I thought, "What a great idea, for a family to have a slogan that helps define your values as a family," and this family, their name is the Jones family, and their family motto was "It's fun to be a Jones," and that kind of defined a core value for their family. And you think about things like mission and values and priorities.
We've got to find some ways that we can not only think through these things, but also make them a part of the fiber and the fabric of who we are as individuals and as a family.
And I think folks can get some help, Dennis, from the book that Pat has written on this subject. It's called "Balancing your Family, Faith, and Work," it's in our FamilyLife Resource Center. We'd be happy to send a copy to you. You can get in touch with us here at FamilyLife by going to our website, FamilyLife.com.
There's a red button right in the center of the home page, and if you click that button, it will take you to an area of the site where you can find out more about Pat's book, other resources we have available here at FamilyLife, including a book you and your wife, Barbara, wrote called "Pressure Proof Your Marriage," that is tied to this same subject – how do you keep your marriage relationship the priority that it needs to be in a world where not only is your job competing for your time and attention but so many things are competing for our time and our attention that we have a tendency to let our marriage relationship slide.
There is more information about both of these books on our website at FamilyLife.com, and if any of our listeners are interested in getting copies of both books, we'll send along at no additional cost the CD audio of the conversation we've had with Pat Gelsinger this week, and you can share that with other friends, you can pass it along to someone who might benefit from listening to this program in your workplace, in your neighborhood.
Maybe there is somebody you know who is into IT and would just be interested in this because Pat is the chief technology officer at Intel. Again, find more information about these resources that are available on our website at FamilyLife.com or call us at 1-800-FLTODAY, that's 1-800-358-6329, 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY, and we'll make sure to get these resources sent out to you.
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Well, tomorrow Ken Ham is going to join us. We're going to hear about the Creation Museum that is being built in Cincinnati, and we're going to talk about why it's important to understand Genesis the way God intends for us to understand it. I hope you can be with us for that conversation.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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