Engineer Turned CEO Learned to Put Relationships First in Managing People (Video)

Video / Produced by partner of TOW

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, learned over time that even engineers don’t want to be led by a robot – they want real relationships at work.


Most of the early part of my career I was just your A-type engineer. Data driven. You were either one of two things: you were helping me, or you were in my road. If you were in my road, get out of my road, or I’ll bowl you over. I was not a very relational guy. It wasn’t that I didn’t like you, but hey I had a job to get done, and you were just in the road.

It really took me a while to really learn many of those relational aspects. Probably the last decade or decade-and-a-half of my career I’ve had to learn to always start discussions with “How are you doing? How was your family?” I think: “What was the last thing we were talking about? Let’s come back to it. Your son’s graduating from college. How’s that going?” And always start there, to make that a key piece, that relational piece.

For me it was a forced learning. But it’s powerful. Because when you connect with people, not just in the work, the data, the science, but also in the human and in the relational aspect, things flourish at a level that you never thought possible before.

People don’t like working with robots. They want to work with other people: people they respect, people they enjoy, people they love.

Watch the full Faith & Co. film series from Seattle Pacific University.

This video serves as an illustration to the TOW Bible Commentary article Relationships (Genesis 1:27; 2:18, 21-25).