Complete Podcast Interview Transcript:
Welcome to the Purpose Nation podcast. Inspiring conversations with Christians in science, technology and industries of the future. For information, or to make a tax deductible contribution. Visit PurposeNation.org.
Brad Cooper: 00:16
This is for the purpose Nation podcast. And today we are blessed and honored to be joined by the CEO of VMware, Pat Gelsinger. Pat welcome. How are things bright and early in the Bay area this morning?
Pat Gelsinger: 00:31
Well life is good, Brad, and good to be chatting with you and your listeners today.
Brad Cooper: 00:32
Great. Thank you. Wonderful. Likewise. Looking forward to discussing how God has been working in Pat's life and his career and so many of the things he has going on. First if it's possible I'm going to try to give a brief summary of Pat's background. I'm not sure we have enough time on the show. If you look up overachiever in the dictionary I think you're going to find Pat's name there somewhere. He's just had amazing career and that continues to go. And he's been the CEO of VMware since 2012. He's been a leader in high tech and Silicon Valley for more than 35 years prior to VMware, Pat was the President and COO of EMC and prior to that he was at Intel for 30 years where he managed many organizations there and had many leadership positions . He became the youngest vice president ever at the age of 31 and later their first CTO or Chief Technology Officer. He has many patents to his name. He was involved in the creation of the things that we all use every day like the computers we're using right now. So little things like that like the chips in our computers. I think he had his hands on us be Wi-Fi. A few of those things that some of us may have heard of or used. Pat was involved with many many years ago and he's also written two books: I've read the second one which is great. The Juggling Act which we're going have a link to that on the podcast, it's a great book. He covers a lot in that book some of the things we're going to touch on today but just it's called the Juggling Act: Bringing Balance to Your Faith, Family and Work. It's a great book, recommend it. I haven't read the first book that wrote called Programming the 83 86 but it's on my reading list... I promise, Pat.
Brad Cooper: 02:08
He's got a master's from Stanford a bachelor's from Santa Clara and a associates from Lincoln tech all in electrical engineering. He's a devout and outspoken Christian which is amazing in Silicon Valley and for a CEO of a big company and even calls himself the pastor (or minister) of VMware which is amazing. He's actively involved with his church. He's been a trustee of William Jessup which is a Christian university. He founded an organization which I hope we're going to talk about which is called Transforming the Bay with Christ and lots of other things he's been involved with. Pat and his wife Linda are blessed with four children. They spent time in the Bay Area. I think Portland, Boston. Grandchildren as well, Pat?
Pat Gelsinger: 02:08
Yes, we have three of them now.
Brad Cooper: 02:46
Amazing. Amazing. OK great. Well starting off, Pat, just going back all the way back here. We're going to start with the childhood in the Pennsylvania farm country where you grew up I believe with reading your book and reading other places. It didn't seem initially like there was an interest in computers but maybe I mean what were some of the things you were interested in as a kid?
Pat Gelsinger: 03:08
Well, grew up on a farm. I always thought, my dad was 9 of 10 kids. They were all farmers. Grandpa helped son #1. son #2, got down to my dad at number nine and he said, "we have enough farms in the family, so just work with your brothers" Growing up I always thought I'd be a farmer, cause that's when all of my cousins, and you know everybody I was associated with... you know, what's a farmer without a farm? and so in the latter years of high school I thought, you know, "what am I going to do?" and sort of stumbled into electronic technology... so fixing TV and radios thing like that. I accidentally won a scholarship, Brad, and so I end up skipping my last year of high school and getting my associate's degree from Lincoln tech. The first time I touched a computer there I was like, "Wow!"
Pat Gelsinger: 03:51
And then Intel came recruiting. And the guy who was recruiting, his name was Ron Smith, he interviewed a dozen people that day for technician jobs, this is on the East Coast, Allentown Pennsylvania, interviewing us to go out to California. So everybody was sort of a little bit gaga over a free trip to California. I was the last person to interview. And he wrote this about me: "Smart, aggressive, arrogant... he'll fit right in." And they gave me the invitation and of course I said, "yeah I'll take a free trip to California" with no real intention to move to that crazy west coast.
Brad Cooper: 04:27
You know and you had never been even on a plane, I think, at that point?
Pat Gelsinger: 04:34
I was just a kid. you know for us on a trip into the city with a big deal. So going, you're getting on the airplane was like, "Wow. California? They're pretty nuts out there... they've got earthquakes, cults and all sorts of things."
Brad Cooper: 04:48
So that was your first experience with computers really was at the Technical College and then and then obviously wento to Intel and at that point you were I guess you were hooked?
Pat Gelsigner: 05:03
Yeah I was just smitten with it, this idea that you could scribe in some language, and these are very primitive things at the time and get it do what you had programmed to do. To me it was just amazing. when Intel gave me the job offer to come out to California. It really was about going to school and you know both my parents were single room schoolhouse 8th grade educated and just the pounding in our head. Kids go to college, go to college get a Ph.D. And so when Intel like gave me an offer that I could work and go to school they pay for it, you know, I was broke, I had no money I was just a farm boy. And so they would pay for my college. I got B's or better so I was pretty motivated to get good grades. And you know I moved to California started work on my bachelor's degree at Santa Clara University paid for by Intel, as long as I have good grades and started working at Intel and just loving it.
Brad Cooper: 05:58
And growing up. tell us about your Christian background.
Pat Gelsigner 06:04
It was a church community. It was the UCC church that we went to. You went to church every Sunday because if not you get in trouble with dad. And as I started to get in the early teen years and I wanted to impress the moms the grandmas of the girls I liked. So it was a "deep spiritual experience."
Pat Gelsigner: 06:27
Baptized at six days old, infant baptism and confirmed that all of the all of the things for a formal denomination that was but never had a personal relationship it was always one thing to do the thing the family did. And it wasn't until coming to California... and what did I do when I get to California? I walked down the street and went to church... Why? To impress the moms and the grandmothers of the girls I might meet. Sure enough, the first Sunday, I met Linda... no romantic interests but that developed a little bit later and they really challenged me in the faith domain. So a few months after attending there was really convicted in being "hot or cold for God." The famous passage from Revelation 3:15-16. And in February of 1980, four months after being California made the commitment to be hot for God.
Brad Cooper: 07:19
And that seems like a pretty big commitment based on sort of your trajectory already at that age and being in Silicon Valley. And now how about you know meeting that commitment early on? Was that a challenge or not? Was it sort of it at that point God had sort of gotten a hold of you? Describe those early days as a Christian.
Pat Gelsigner: 07:38
Yeah it was a pretty you know God, His fingerprints were all over those days. And for instance I was living with two guys, one was named Bob. And you know his favorite thing to do was to go to army surplus store and find bomb parts... The other was Jack. And Jack was mostly motivated by things having to do with the bong around the coffee table. So real spiritual. Linda was just aghast the first time she came to our house.
Pat Gelsigner: 08:13
And then soon after becoming a Christian and accepting Christ and really not really knowing quite what was all associated with this walk of faith and I was signing up too. But just a couple of weeks later after being baptized accepting Christ from walking down the hall at Intel and this guy, I could is sort of the he was looking... trying to see if I was the guy who was looking for... he comes up to me his name is Bob and say Hi I'm Bob Matthews. God told me I should be your roommate.
Brad Cooper: 08:13
Pat Gelsigner: 08:46
Wait, God's talking to you about me? What on earth is going on here. And Bob was a very mature Christian guy and sort of plucked me out of that "Bombs and Bongs" where I was living really became a spiritual mentor for those early days and you know sort of one of those you know sort of amazing spiritual moments in that early walk.
Brad Cooper: 09:08
Wow that's amazing. And you also met Linda. So tell us about what happened there. I mean when did you end up. You obviously ended up getting married eventually of of what was it what was the story there?
Pat Gelsinger: 09:20
Yeah, it's a fabulous story because she and the other young adults sort of adopted me into their young adults group at church. It was sort of like, "Oh, a new puppy came into our group." It was October of 1979, and I had neither vacation nor money to go back east for Christmas and Christmas is a big deal in her family. So feeling a little bit sorry for myself and Linda invited me over for Christmas dinner with her mom and grandmother, her dad was out of town. So I have three generations of female cooks. I figured, there is not a lot of downside here. And went over to Grandma and mom and Linda and we had a wonderful evening in particular Grandma, as we finished the night, Grandma and I hit it off great. And grandma closes the door. I get in my car drive away she turns to Linda and she says to her, "He's the one. "
Brad Cooper: 09:20
Pat Gelsinger: 09:20
The first time Grandma's ever met me... you know, some people have got a weak cell phone connection to God... you know, Grandma had a high bandwidth, broadband connection to God.
Brad Cooper: 09:20
Pat Gelsinger: 10:36
She was just the spiritual pillar in Linda's life and having her describe me as "the one".... that was certainly prophetic to Linda. And so that was sort of your first moment. A few months later Linda's mom says, "He's the one." And Linda and I haven't even gone on a date yet... so I already have two generations rooting for me. And Linda began to date began a romantic engagement thereafter. But what was really a grandma that really plucked us out.
Brad Cooper: 11:06
It's amazing. Amazing story. And it sounds like there's a couple of those events I mean you talked about the experience of time in technical college and then the person who grabbed you out and said God told me to be a roommate and then this and then some other things too. So it sounds like some moments in your life where God intervened...
Brad Cooper: 11:25
Fast forwarding though all the way now to the present day. So tell us about VMware, if you can, and what the company does in layman's terms.
Pat Gelsinger: 11:33
Yeah. And you know it really has been a Cinderella career from Intel to EMC and now you know VMware... you know we're a software company. You know we build what would be called enterprise software so software that's on the other side of the wire. So if you would go to a Web site like a Starbucks or a Nike you'd go into a Starbucks store. If you are GE, you know, any of these companies what's on the other side of the wire? There is a whole bunch of data centers, our software is magic software that makes these data centers efficient, scalable it's called virtualization software you know literally we do things that were only considered possible in the hardware. We turned them into software. When you turn them into software they get far more scalable so that having to provision hardware that may take months we can do it in seconds and things can move around. They can be cheap and efficient and we do that for networks, for storage, for computer, for automation software... essentially we're the ingredient that makes the cloud possible for enterprise customers and increasingly for our consumer customers run us we protect and manage and secure people's phones... one of our products, Air Watch, is sort of the standard now of how enterprises protect their devices for their users. And increasingly, we're partnering with the big brand names like Amazon, IBM that are using our software to run their enterprise customers. So we're that ingredient inside of every cloud in every data center that really makes it possible.
Brad Cooper: 13:18
And a public company and have seen some pretty tremendous growth?
Pat Gelsinger: 13:23
Yeah, we are the Cinderella story of a Stanford-backed startup company. A Stanford professor and his wife and a couple of graduate students went out and started the company almost 20 years ago and meteoric growth. And now we're about seven billion dollars in revenue about 20,000 employees, growing nicely... publicly traded at a little bit less than 40 billion in market cap and have a lot of exciting products that have seen as a real growing, powerful company for the future.
Brad Cooper: 14:06
And that was $40 billion, for our audience, with a "B" just in case your audio cut out there. And you're also now part of like a success strategic investor is Dell as well? Dell Technologies?
Pat Gelsinger: 14:26
EMC acquired the company back in 2004, a public offering in 2007, and then when Dell and EMC merged, basically Dell took on the ownership of that portion of VMware, so been publicly traded even though majority owned now by Dell Technologies. You know Michael Dell the chairman of my board. We're considered part of the strategic family of businesses that have significant ownership of the Dell Technologies group.
Pat Gelsinger: 14:51
Overall, you know, just getting this merger and everything done, was just an extraordinary, both positive and negative, 2016 both on the personal and professional side get into the other side of this merger... So I would say the most challenging year of my personal or professional career. But now we're on the other side of the company so all the while and I'll say it certainly was a journey and long suffering in the last year but the company is now performing well over a number of personal challenges as well a son with cancer, a father in law who passed away... a personal health thing, I broke my foot ...and got a couple of weddings and new grandbaby last year plus all the merger I stock went from 80 to 40 and now we're back to 90 plus. Quite the year.
Brad Cooper: 15:39
Sounds like it. Glad to hear you've come through. And like I said it seems like everything is going in the right direction with the company and and glad to hear you've made it through some of those challenges. You also have called yourself the "minister or the pastor of your church at VMware"... can you tell us what you mean by that?
Pat Gelsinger: 15:55
Yeah well actually let's go back a little bit, Brad, and just a few months after I became a Christian, I felt called into full-time ministry and I was like, "What doing God? I don't want to be a minister!" And I joke... I don't want to be a John Ortberg, I'm not a Francis Chan.... I don't want to be a Chip Ingram... You know, that's not me. And yet I felt this extraordinary burden from God to go into ministry. And so I wrestle, I am a young Christian and I'm trying to figure this out. Wrestling with God and you know what He is calling me to.... and after the wrestling for a couple of months... Finally, as the story of Gideon goes, laid out the fleece before God and said, "if this happens I will go into the ministry" and as soon as I lay the fleece before God, the answer came back, "The workplace is your ministry" and Colossians 3:23-24 says, "Work heartily as for the Lord not for men. Knowing that you receive the Lord of the inheritance it is the Lord Christ whom you Serve."
Pat Gelsinger: 17:03
And that's become my life verse. And I think for anybody in the workplace you know is something they really need to grapple with. You know, when I speak publicly and so on, I'll often ask somewhere in the talk, "How many of you are full-time ministers?" and usually you get a few hands to go up... and then I'll ask, "how many of you are Christians?" Almost every hand will go up and then I'll say, "OK, let's do this again.... How many of you are ministers?" and I will go through that two or three times and it sort of sinks in ... and you know if you call on the name of Christ, you know you are full time pastors, you are a full time ministers to your home place, to your marketplace, to your school place. So you know I think there is this Holy calling that each of us has.
Pat Gelsinger: 17:42
So now when I look at that in my current context... You know, I'm a full time minister. I'm given, right now, 20,000 lives that are part of my congregation. 20,000 families that are in my congregation that are represented and 20,000 of their local communities across the planet. What does a minister do? He's worried about his people... he's worried about the family... when he's you know working to build them up to have success. And in so many ways I think that analogy applies to a CEO. You know I'm the shepherd of my tribe here at VMware.
Brad Cooper: 18:22
And also, you talk about this in your book in other places as well, just in terms of the character of a Christian employee and how you apply that to your work even before he became a leader. Tell us about your philosophy there as far as Christians and I guess their responsibility in the company to be also a good employee.
Pat Gelsinger: 18:40
Yeah. At first as I say Christians should be, you know, biblically speaking, you should be above reproach, and you should be the best employee and the first place that your ministry starts in the workplace is by being the best employee and as Colossians 3:23 says, "Work heartily as for the Lord not for men" you take that quite explicitly. That means Jesus Christ is your CEO, He's your boss when you show up to work today and so you're showing up for work for the Lord of the universe the creator and master of all things. And are you a slacker or are you going to give it you know your very best, work heartily as for the Lord? And you know with that in mind you should be that people should look at you and say you know, "What's gotten into Brad? Man. Every day he just you know puts in better effort. He doesn't get caught up in water cooler politics. When things go bad, he's the guy with a smile on his face when he does when things feels good he's congratulating everybody else and he's given other people the glory and praise bringing them along he's helping to nurture and develop them. What's gotten into that Brad dude?" And that showed up in the work place. But it all starts with being a great employee. Because, if you're not a great employee you have no ministry in the workplace. Right. You know you're dead wood. Right. And it does not give you authority to go be an evangelist in the workplace... it does not give you an authority to doing that versus your fiduciary responsibility as an employee. So it all starts with being a great employee.
Brad Cooper: 20:23
Now in the background of Silicon Valley in the Bay Area if you could you know quickly describe it for those who have not been there or not familiar with it, including, you know, some of the aspects of faith that you have found.
Pat Gelsinger: 20:36
Yeah well Silicon Valley, you know I I sort of joke about this a little bit but you know four characteristics of Silicon Valley today: One is it is now the wealthiest area on planet Earth... the highest per capita income anywhere in the globe. Secondly because of the success and reach of technology it is arguably the most influential area on planet earth. Amazingly and it is one of the least philanthropic areas in the nation and it's one of the least churched areas in the nation. So as I describe it my mission field is rich influential, miserly pagans. Do you know that's the setting that we're in. And no I'm sure we'll touch a little bit more on TBC, Transforming the Bay with Christ, but you know this idea that you know we're the radical minority here. People say that general sense of the Bay Area is that Christianity is one of two things: It's either an evolutionary leftover that "we--as the most intellectually-leading, innovative people ever existed--don't need..." or "it's a tool of the religious right in a political context... and we have no interest in that either." So depending on either one of those... "We're not interested." In the last census we're the only major metropolitan area that "none" was greater than 50 percent of religious preferences or background.
Brad Cooper: 22:09
That's amazing... and what are some of your thoughts on why that is? Is it due to just fast-paced lifestyle... the more analytical nature of people who are in high tech careers... or what are you what are some thoughts on what some of the underlying causes of that?
Pat Gelsinger: 22:22
Yeah I think those are part of it. I think you know there is the higher intellectuals actuals... I think there is this extraordinary liberalism and some of that you know obviously born out of San Francisco and some of the LGBTQ kind of questions... that you know the social conservatives versus liberals is sort of been, you know, there is a ripping sound across society here... I think there is clearly some spiritual battles that were lost decades ago in the Bay Area. You know the first ever pornographic site was in downtown San Francisco. There was never... there's never been a major spiritual revival in the Bay Area. You know minimal historical strong churches or universities of higher reasoning that are located here. You have that in lots of places, like in Southern California and other places, Christian universities... essentially none in the Bay Area. The focus on technology and the extraordinary success that has brought as well has sort of reinforced You know, "What do we need with God?" You know "we are the most successful being that I've ever existed on the planet. And what I need with a stupid crutch called faith or Christianity?" You also have this extraordinary social melting pot here as well. You know it's New York and the Bay Area are by far the most diverse areas in our nation as well. ...we sort of end up with this melting pot that everything's OK because we have everything here and in the bay all sorts of different religious backgrounds and backgrounds as well. So really quite a unique set of ingredients and of it is one of the least churched areas on the on the on the planet today.
Brad Cooper: 24:24
At the same time, obviously you're there and there are many other Christians there as well and have you found you know just being a witness and now would be more prominent in your position. Are you finding more people feeling comfortable to be more clear witnesses in their workplace and in their faith? What have you seen or are you seeing a trend there?
Pat Gelsinger: 24:42
Well definitely there's a emergence and I'll say, and you know, talk now maybe about millennials... there is this spirit-filled void in every human being, and you know a millennial today is just interested in going to work for a company you go there. They want to go to work for a company that does good things as well. So there's you know a Spirit-shaped void that's being filled by you know hey volunteering at Habitat for Humanity... or "what else are we doing as a company to give back?" and so you can start to sense that there's this underlying spiritual void that people are seeking to be filled. And we also see that there are some good, strong, growing churches in the Bay Area... not that many.... But boy I got and the TBC effort for you know, hey we got a good 20ish churches that they're all in with us and the churches the mega churches that are really starting to have new campuses and impact and you know our reasoning for the Bay Area as I say you know when you have a radically spiritual minority, God shows up and we are seeing good things happen that way and started to turn the perspective of the church in the Bay Area. So we're really quite thrilled with some of the things that are going on and you know not that there are bad things and bad days but you know we are the minority and we are thrilled about it.
Brad Cooper: 26:19
And tell us as we've already talked about it so why don't you tell us about the TBC organization.
Pat Gelsinger: 26:27
Yeah. And TBC is sort of fun because when I came to the back to the Bay Area. So we were in Bay Area for 10 years, Linda and I met here and we had all four of our children in the Bay Area. Then we moved to Oregon for 20 years with Intel, really raised our family. And when we empty nested... then I came to Linda about the job at EMC when they were pursuing me... and after 30 years you can imagine what a traumatic change that was. But we made the move back to the East Coast for three years with EMC and then we got asked about taking the job at VMware in the Bay Area... and Linda had said we never go back to the Bay. When we moved to Oregon 25 years ago and it was one of those where "Never say never." It's a bad idea, especially when you are talking to God, but never say never to God... so we're looking at the job to come back here but Linda was like scratching her claws all across the nation as we move to the Bay Area. And we were really pretty convinced that God had a bigger plan. It wasn't just about taking a job being a leader of one of the fastest growing largest software companies in the world there was something bigger at stake and we have been associated with the Palau's, the Luis Palau Association, and some of their festivals, where they really are about building a community network and the festival now becomes a peak or a moment of acceleration. But there is a sustainable entity that is continuing to work to transform that community and build network promotes churches long after the festival is over. So we have been participating with that Portland, Sacramento the New York efforts... but coming to the Bay Area, this idea just sort of hung in the back of my mind that maybe something like that was possible here.
Pat Gelsinger: 28:25
So we came to the Bay and I held the first meeting you know about 20 folks that I invited to the first meeting of what would become TBC. And I said boy if I can get three in three really staunch business leaders who were Christian and three really powerful Christian figures who are all in for building this kind of thing the God I know you're in it so I bought Francis Chan, Chip Ingram and John Ortberg together for the first meeting. They had never met each other. They are in the Bay Area and they knew of each other..... They respected each other.... but they had never met each other.
Brad Cooper: 28:25
Pat Gelsinger: 29:04
They sort of come into the room and sort of lean back, arms crossed, "hey, the business CEO invited me so I sort of gotta show up, but I'm not quite sure why I'm here..." kind of view... And after a few meetings I'm starting to build a relationship. You know they went from leaning back to leaning in and we started to hold a larger meetings, sort of facilitating networks and relationships and that really was born TBC. And now with TBC we hold regular a large group meetings and lots of small targeted meetings for pastors groups, for activities of interest where hey homelessness or maybe foster programs or you know church engagements in the school and you know a lot of activity as well building network and relationship. We say that we want TBC to do three things: We want to unify the Christian leadership of the bay, we want to amplify works of service to the bay, and then multiply the churches in the bay. You know we're well underway. We hired Nancy Ortberg, John Ortberg's wife, as the CEO for TBC, we have a staff of three people that work with Nancy and a lot of great things happening.
Brad Cooper: 30:21
And you have some events as well coming up?
Pat Gelsinger: 30:24
Yeah. they have large events twice a year or two or three times a year and then lots of small events you know which might be hey a pastors meeting in the South Bay, a meeting around the homelessness of St. Peter's or you know many of those other things. The last large meeting was quite fun. We had Condoleezza Rice as our main speaker and was really the sort of convocation for the Bay Area and to hear Condi speak. Before that we had Compassion International with the speaker for that. And you know he's you know a fabulous guy and we had Luis Pulao as speaker and know so lots of good speakers hope people together that you know focus on what were the one of them really just building a relationship with all believers across the bay.
Brad Cooper: 31:17
That's amazing. And we continue to pray for that organization and hope we can spread God throughout the Bay Area. Talk a little bit about the technology trends that you're seeing so if we have young people in high school maybe in college considering a career in tech, what kind of trends should they be aware of in terms of the careers that they pursue and how that might impact future job prospects?
Pat Gelsinger: 31:40
Sure. Well you know the first thing I'd say you know you know the past, sort of the joke was that everybody needs to go to school learn three things: Read. Right. Arithmetic. You know I'd say in the future everybody needs to go to school for three things: reading writing code, and arithmetic.. to you know one of the stump speeches that I like to do is about tech breaking out of tech, where technology is moving into every aspect of business, society and transforming every industry where today the number one transportation company doesn't own any cars or factories... Uber. The number one hotel company doesn't own any properties. Air BnB. These things are transforming every industry in every role in every industry. The marketing guy is doing big data analytics to gain sentiment insights about their target users. Wow. You know we're seeing you know robotics start to invade every aspect of manufacturing... drones transforming supply chains and so on and so you know we believe very deeply that you know technology is innovating every aspect. And even if you want it to be you know a doctor, hey you're in for bioinformatics hey if you want to do marketing you're going to learn big data analytics tools. Every aspect of careers are going to be changed as a result of technology. And of course, being an engineer, I think everybody should be an engineer. I just believe that is sort of the core creating value. But I say even in any profession you know the basics of technology are becoming more and more present in every aspect.
Brad Cooper: 33:34
Right. And well now you're I guess sort of a more of a business guy, though? Yeah? You're not, or maybe you are, I don't know if you're going down there and you know, jumping on the you know the programmers desk and saying, "hey wait a minute let me show you how it's done here." So the point is you can be involved in as you said as if you're a doctor or whatever function you have but to have knowledge of what the other functions do. Now it almost seems like you know for you is it more pulling in the best team together and strategy and with knowing the technology aspects but still maybe having some other skills?
Pat Gelsinger: 34:10
Yeah clearly you know for me personally now you know I'm a business leader I lead the organization. You know it's as a CEO, you know, one minute I might be in a debate on you know a lawsuit or in the next minute. Right. I might be looking at pricing data for a product. We're going to launch the next bit and I may be a psychoanalyst or an employee that we might be losing to a competitor. And every once in a while I get the opportunity to get deep with my engineers all you know really have what I'll call "fun" being an engineer I try to stay close to the technology. It makes for a better tech CEO when you're deeper in the technology but I like my day job is very much being the CEO which means you know looking across a full spectrum of disciplines.
Brad Cooper: 35:01
So obviously there's a big trend towards artificial intelligence and it's sort of the buzzword you know in popular culture. Right now you're obviously close to it with all the big data that you know your software runs. What are your thoughts on that in terms of just the economy and job prospects because that's the other thing that we keep hearing is that 50 percent of us are going to be put out of jobs by artificial intelligence in 10 or 20 years. What's your personal view?
Pat Gelsinger: 35:25
Yeah and you know it's just a little historical tidbit for you and I love some of the naysayers about all of our jobs to be crushed and so on and I take a different view on that in a big way that around 1800s the United States peaked with the percentage of the population associated with agriculture and who found their livelihood in the agriculture field in some form and it peaked at almost 80 percent. Today that number is less than 2 percent. So, essentially we have displaced almost the entire workforce of the nation over the last 200 years. And you sort of think about that, you know, I'm from a farming community so essentially my entire family livelihoods has been essentially displaced over that period of time. And how do you feel about that? Brad? Is that bad or good? I was at a family reunion. My dad is there with all of his you know the nine brothers and brothers in law. Not one of them has all their fingers, like wow! You know is it bad that that was displaced by all that technology. I think it's good and conststantly we're pushing higher value more intellectual or greater value-add and improving the quality of people's lives along the way. And that's why I say you know read, write code and arithmetic. Everybody needs to learn and embrace technology, essentially be trained and re-traineded, so they move to higher value. And in whatever profession they pursue they're able to continue to embrace and utilize and enable a higher value experience and that's how we are going to improve the quality of life.
Pat Gelsinger: 37:17
You know my belief is that you know in a very profound and maybe prophetic way that you know we are we're about to be more connected than we were since the time of Christ. Why did Christ come in the Pax Romana period? I'll suggest that it was a period of the greatest connectivity, you know through Roman roads, that has ever occurred. In that period of history, the word of God could go out. Well we're about to hit 50 percent of the planet that is connected over the Internet. So the first time we're over 50 percent, so it's like the Pax Romana ...and I think that's profound. And yeah, AI, it's going to displace certain jobs and create other ones. You know truck drivers could be replaced by safer or more efficient ways of transportation in the process. And I suggest that if that's your profession, and you are early in your career. You better start learning how to use technology and be prepared for your next career. Yes that will occur. And that's fundamentally what technology has been doing for hundreds and hundreds of years allowing people's quality of lives to improve as we embrace and enable the more mundane things to be done with machines and technology automation AI machine learning will continue that trend and ultimately every human on the planet.
Brad Cooper: 38:37
Years ago you came up with your own personal mission statement and goals... how did that come about. And has that changed for you? Or have you pretty much had the same mission statement and goals. How was it. How did that come about and how and how has it changed if at all.
Pat Gelsinger: 38:50
Yeah and you know early in my career when I was 31 I had just gotten promoted to vice president at Intel and I was like, wow! right. Am I done? You know I got my first patent... I wrote my first book... the one you gotta go read programming 80330 it's a thriller. I had you know gotten many of the things done that I wanted to do in life and in this period of aimlessness the sort of either that you know year or so of aimlessness and uncertainty. I wrote my personal mission statement and you know laid out by you know say write my epitaph for my life write the values that I want to be known for and live by and that ultimately goals I want to achieve and I've revised that now about six or seven times since I first wrote it 31 years ago. But it's been a pretty stable document for me and I find that you sort of revised it as you go through your major epochs of life. You know what do you think about your goals in your 30s where you just start your family and so on. Somewhat different than them in the teenage years and then you enter into the empty nesting years you know every one of those you sort of think about your goals and your life objectives a bit differently but it still should have a continuity. You know if I read your mission statement when you were in your teens you know I hope to find some of the same words as when you were you know peak of your career 30 years later. But there is different aspects to just that you do more like come to the fore.
Brad Cooper: 40:20
And you also talked about putting the fleece out and I'm guessing that was more figurative but there were some I guess signs or things you're looking for, looking for God's voice but how do we tell the difference between what is our true calling from God and what we want to do or what we think we should do? How have you made sure that you're hearing his voice and never says you know what Pat wants to do?
Pat Gelsinger: 40:42
Yeah. You know that's always hard discerning what God wants to do. You know clearly going to His Word... and letting that fill your soul. Being in prayer. Going to your mentors.
Pat Gelsinger: 40:54
And also, to two others that I sort of like to call out my myself those first three ever everybody tell you to do that. But the other two I'd say that I like to point to is: One, is how did God make you? What are you passionate about, Brad? It's not arbitrary to God that you are passionate about those things. Find those things that God put into your heart, your soul and your make-up that you just enjoy. You know it's like are you one of my favorite movies, Eric Little, you know as he is running you know the great Olympic race in Chariots of Fire. You know when I am running I feel in the center of His will. And to find those places where you really are in the center of God's will right as well the stuff that you just like wow God made me for this and that's sort of how I felt like when I started on the microprocessor at Intel... I felt like wow I am good at that. I love it. I enjoy it. You'll find those places in life. Then the other one I point you to to and for any who are listening to you know married... if God is calling you to something, He is also calling your spouse to it... and if they're not there, you know, then hey, one of you aint hearin' God, or God hasn't called the other, or it's not time yet. And you know this has been one of the tenets of Linda and my relationship if we're not both "yes," then the answer is "no" or wait. You know we did not argue about decisions because we agree to agree. That's also been a very powerful determinant. And you know you know having a spiritual wife and she's a bit of a prophet you know black and white. You know right or wrong. And hey if God's calling me to something, he's calling her too that we're going to go together.
Brad Cooper: 42:43
And sounds like you also had and maybe another one or was it one of the earlier ones places that God sort of inserted himself or inserted other people whether it was a mentor or somebody who got you on the right track.
Pat Gelsinger: 42:53
You know I've been blessed to have God in very powerful ways a couple of times in my life. You know we talked about the fleece moment and the grandma moment. So you know are a few of those along the way. You know I'm a huge advocate of having mentors in people's lives that I say people who are committed to making you better. In Ecclesiastes these you know a cord of three strands is not easily broken. I think you know those three strands as your Paul, your Barnabas and your Timothy. You know, Paul somebody who's breathing into your life, a Barnabas, of it somebody who is a buddy on the way, and then finally Timothy somebody who you're breathing into their life. You know that makes for a powerful combination. You know somebody who's telling you hey Brad you know that wasn't such a good idea, Buddy. Or, Brad, how is your relationship with your wife and really challenging you on that. And for instance my mentor now, Steve, he's been mentoring me for well over a decade now. And you know who'll take me to task, "How's your relationship with Linda? You know what are you doing in those areas to honor her to really cherish her and demonstrate that." And boy you know having a job like mine you know there's both temptation, challenges and huge you know ego value all around me. So you need those kind of influences in your life than anybody who is listening that doesn't have a mentor or mentor in relationships. I think that's one of the most valuable things you can do both personal and in your professional lives.
Brad Cooper: 44:36
That's great advice. Thank you. Any thing coming up for you. What can we pray for for you?
Pat Gelsinger: 44:41
Oh wow. Well here we are getting over as I said this very challenging period and coming into a bit of a green pastures if you would and you really feel like God blessing in our lives. You know we're thrilled by what's going on with the TBC, but it's just getting started. We want to go from three or four percent of the Bay Area as Christian to breaking 10 percent to get to the point that you know there's a variety of social psychological surveys that, at 10 percent, you change society. You know to me, that's sort of a passionate goal that I'd like to really help see through the TBC effort and hey with four grown kids and each of them married about three grand babies... we were just on the phone with them last night, they are thinking about buying their first home right now. You know, in some ways I find parenting adult children maybe even more challenging than the temper tantrums of infants. Boy, in some ways it is harder to be an adult parent than it is for adolescents or infants.
Brad Cooper: 44:41
The grandkids are the fun now.
Pat Gelsinger: 44:41
Yeah, you know, skip kids and go straight to grandkids.
Brad Cooper: 46:03
Well very good. Well we'll definitely keep you and TBC and all of the work you're doing in our thoughts and prayers and we'll have a link on the podcast page to TBC for those who are in the Bay Area who have an interest in checking it out please do. And look for events are coming up and I think you have an email list they can sign up for and all of that so please do that.
Brad Cooper: 46:21
Well thank you so much Pat for the time today. It's been amazing to talk to you and just wish you the best blessings for you and your company and your family.
Pat Gelsinger: 46:28
Thank you. Brad and to all your listeners there. May God bless you, keep you, may His face shine upon you, and may you be a full time minister in whatever you're doing today.
Brad Cooper: 46:40
Amen. All right thank you Pat and thank you everyone and we'll be in touch soon and hopefully have you back on. Appreciate your time today. Thanks. Pat.
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