Eleven years ago I was asked by a group of prominent academicians and business men from Boston if I would agree to help build TIM (Technion Institute of Management) in Israel. A good friend and colleague Zeev Tadmor – then President of the Technion, challenged me to see if I could support the development of a totally different project compared to anything else I had done before. Until then, I visited and worked in more than 100 countries, managed eight companies and experienced challenges, failures and successes of all sorts.
“Why don’t you walk your talk and translate what you have learned as a CEO to try build a first-of-its-kind global management program for executive teams?” he said.
After much internal debate and hesitation, I decided to take the project on and build it, committing to a period of four years. Ten years later, with thousands of CEOs and Vices Presidents as graduates, hundreds of cover stories in the international media and hundreds of successful company projects, along with Professor Lester Thurow our Chairman and Professor Shlomo Maital our Academic Director, we have decided to move on.
It is not only difficult to leave a life time project which made a difference for so many executives, but it is also quite difficult to let it go. So much of my life learning and lessons came from TIM. So many people around the world became accustomed to hearing our voice (TIM has been to forty two sites worldwide on benchmarking visits and met with 542 global corporations – most of them on a Chairman and CEO level).
So, not only will I miss TIM terribly I will cherish the wonderful days, weeks, months and years we spent developing one of the best Global Executive Programs in the world.
Many friends and colleagues criticized me when I decided to take over the company in the late nineties. They challenged me whether it was even possible to build a “new concept” when there were so many programs around. They tried to convince me to take over a commercial company again as opposed to managing a company in the development area of management. All I can say is that I don’t regret a second of devoting ten years of my life to help develop quality executives. It actually helped me become better in what I do.
My next newsletter will already come out of the Yoyah Group. But I do want to thank all the people who made our ten years possible and successful. The list will probably take another three pages so I will write my gratitude separately. I do want to wish all of you the strength, the will power and the ability to give from yourselves for worthwhile causes whenever you can.
I have given all of me to TIM for many years and there are not enough words in my mind to describe my learning and the insights I gained. Until the next letter, I wish you all love and success.