ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Business and Employment»
  • Character & Professionalism

Father to Son - You don't measure up

Updated on August 6, 2014

TIME "MAN OF THE YEAR"

IBM CEO talks about father son relationship

It's hard to believe Thomas Watson, Jr, a man that made it to the top as Ceo of IBM felt the sting of a father's rejection.

For more than thirty years I interviewed some of the world’s most famous people. One famous person who was also an author told me on the air that if anyone wanted to succeed in business that person should be as good a communicator as I was. It was the highest compliment I ever received on my interviewing skills.


THOMAS WATSON JR. - IBM CEO

As Father’s Day approaches, I remember vividly the interview I did eighteen years ago with Thomas Watson Jr. the former CEO of IBM. Watson was he selected Time magazine’s Man of the Year in the 1950’s ; he is credited with being the person who turned IBM from the foremost maker of typewriters to becoming a leading manufacturer of computers.

THOMAS WATSON SR. - original CEO of IBM

I never met Watson, but I interviewed him by phone on my radio show about the book he had written Father, Son &Co: My Life at IBM and Beyond. I read the book as I always tried to before an interview. I found it fascinating and moving. On the air Watson shared the relationship with his father the former CEO of IBM, a man who never really retired but went on working as Chairman of the Board. I mean working; he showed up every day, sometimes before Watson himself did. Although Watson loved his Dad, theirs was a complicated relationship. His father could be very harsh in his judgments of his son. Looking back, Watson believed that his father suffered from would now be called clinical depression” He never felt his father truly trusted him enough to turn the company over to him. Many in the world looked at Watson Jr., president of one of the world’s largest companies, as a man whose vision led that company to become an international leader in technology. His father did not seem to be convinced that his son could handle the job.. The senior Watson believed in typewriters ,not these new fangled computers; that view was shared by most of the top administration at IBM. Watson Jr. struggled not only to make his father see his vision but with his own self-esteem. The man he loved and respected above all others didn’t believe in him, or so he thought.

 

"When my father died in 1956 — six weeks after making me head of IBM — I was the most frightened man in America. For ten years he had groomed me to succeed him, and I had been a young man in a hurry, eager to take over, cocky and impatient. Now, suddenly, I had the job — but what I didn't have was dad there to back me up."

He told me after the show that he had never revealed some of the personal information about his life that he had shared with me. We stayed in touch. He was in retirement and spending a good deal of time on his yacht The Palawan off the coast of New England. I wrote to him in care of his niece who lived on the mainland and he in turn gave her letters to send to me. Thomas Watson Jr. touched my life in some deep way I don’t understand. Perhaps it was his ability to capture in his book that complex relationship between grown child and parent. It was something that I had come to believe; it is the opinions of our parents, which can have more of an impact on us than the opinions of any others.

Rich or not father child relationship the same

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • marlenebr profile image

      marlenebr 9 years ago from Florida

      You're on your way with publishing your first hub; looking forward to others in the future.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)