Sean K. Murphy has an accomplished career in a variety of industries, including software engineering, project management and business development. In this episode we talk about leadership, resilience and reliability from an entrepreneurial standpoint. I am firmly convinced that all leaders need to understand something about entrepreneurism and how entrepreneurial skills may help leaders to develop more resilient organizations. Sean has some outstanding advice for leaders, regardless of their industry.

Sean’s Biography:

Sean Murphy has worked in a variety of roles in the last twenty-five years: software engineer, engineering manager, project manager, business development, product marketing, and customer support. Companies he has worked directly for include Cisco Systems, 3Com, AMD, MMC Networks, and VLSI Technology. He has a BS in Mathematical Sciences and an MS in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford.

Show Notes:

Changes make things obsolete so organizations need room to experiment in environments that are safe to fail in. A degree if failure has to be tolerated if organizations want to seek improvement and build resiliency.

Organizations need to plan for iteration.

Organizations should consider a stream of small failures and include resilience and recovery plans for overlapping repair. Startup organizations should have 2-3 backup plans ready.

Leaders need to review and critique their own performance in order to improve.  They also need to be willing to say, “I don’t know.”

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Time-Stamped Show Notes:

·      0:35-Randy introduces Sean Murphy and describes who he is, including reading his biography.

·      3:30- Randy asks Sean, “Okay, we’ve heard your formal bio, but tell us what makes you tick, what motivates you, what inspires you, or generally why you do what you do?”

·      8:02-Randy and Sean discuss the concept of going all in with one course of action and having no backup options, and the potential dangers of not having backup plans.

·      18:00-Randy asks Sean about some of the reasons for business failure, such as giving up too early or scaling too quickly and Sean provides his perspective.

·      25:29-Randy asks Sean about an “Aha moment” that shaped his outlook on business and leadership. Sean describes the book The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey.

·      32:15-Randy describes Crew Resource Management training and the benefits.

·      33:40-Randy asks Sean, “What area(s) in leadership or organization development do you think needs disruption and why?”


Article about avoiding backup plans: http://www.inc.com/deborah-petersen/elizabeth-holmes-avoid-backup-plans.html

Book Recommendations: Secrets of Consulting by Gerald Weinberg, The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, and Effectual Entrepreneurship by Sara Sarasvathy


Web: www.skmurphy.com (includes blog and contact info)