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Holiday Party Showdown

Confrontation isn't a problem; it's a choice

2 min read

My department’s annual holiday party was, for me, fun to attend and fun to plan. I was a manager in the middle of my career, and I led the committee of staff volunteers—appropriately named the Fun Committee—who organized it. Eighty of us, from the director on down, filled a cozy Spanish restaurant in Lower Manhattan that was all ours for the night. The aroma of great food drew each arrival into the dark, intimate restaurant.

After the rest of the department made their way through the buffet line and found seats, it was finally time for the committee members to grab a plate. I piled as much seafood, rice and beans, and plantains as could possibly fit and then peered in the dim light for an empty seat. The table where most of our executives had congregated was not my first choice; they would most likely be talking shop. Then I saw an empty seat beside Linda, who beckoned me to sit next to her. I sat down and had just put my fork to my plate when Linda leaned in and whispered in my ear.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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