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“Don’t let others define you. You define yourself”. Leadership rules of Virginia “Ginni Rometty, ex-CEO of IBM Corporation

"Don't let others define you. You define yourself". Leadership rules of Virginia "Ginni Rometty, ex-CEO of IBM Corporation
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Many years ago, one of the most productive employee of the company was offered a promotion. The girl replied, that she was flattered and dreamed of such experience and chance. However, she had to wait for two more years for this serious position — during this time she would accumulate the necessary experience, become more confident and much more effective in her new capacity. The leader could not hide the disappointment.

When she told her husband about her “rational decision”, he just shook his head, “Do you think your male colleague would have answered the same?” The young employee was thinking all night long and finally accepted the offer the next day.

That girl was Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, later one of the most successful top managers in the United States, the CEO of IBM corporation, who grew out of a system engineer. And yes, she never doubted herself again.




Ginni Rometty is often cited in articles that explain why girls, along with boys, should pursue careers in the field of IT technologies.

Becoming the chairman of the board of directors, president and the ninth CEO of IBM, as well as the first female leader of the company, she proved her perseverance and leadership qualities that were inherent in childhood to everyone, an inquisitive mind and constant work on yourself will defintely make you successful.

“I realized from early childhood that you have to get involved with what you are doing. Whatever it is, you need to put your heart and soul into it, do it intensely. We have to give ourselves up to work to the point of self-denial,” says Virginia Rometty.

The important qualities of today, according to Rometty, are flexibility, speed and willingness to change. “IBM’s ability to change is in its DNA,” she said in an interview with Harvard Business Review, modestly forgetting to mention that working in times of changes and in the name of changes is her favorite state.


When have I learned the most in my entire life and career? When I took a risk. I learned the most while taking risks


Virginia “Ginni” Rometty


People from her team said that Rometty is not afraid to go down to micromanagement, when it comes to things that are important to her. For example, young IBM programmers recalled about the CEO’s personal wish to talk to them about prolong setting up of corporate email Verse.

Virginia stood behind them and kept talking, while knocking her high heel, “Too slow! What can I do to make you act faster?” Rometty had a solid reason for this, “If we can’t change fast enough at IBM, we’ll have to struggle in order to survive, but we must grow, not exist”.

For ten years in a row, her star of top executive was shining brightly on the horizon — she was on the top of Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business list by Fortune magazine three times, during different time periods, used to be among the 50 most influential people according to Bloomberg, she was included in the list of Hundreds of most influential people of the year according to the American Time magazine.


"Don't let others define you. You define yourself". Leadership rules of Virginia "Ginni Rometty, ex-CEO of IBM Corporation
Supercomputer IBM Watson in 2011 /




It was Ginni Rometty who formulated IBM’s new growth strategy, directing it to the progressive path of cloud computing and systems analytics. She headed the department that developed the Watson intelligent computer.

Rometty said, “Watson is the third level of technology development. At first, the systems could simply count. A new generation of systems has the possibility to be programmed. And this thing is already learning itself. You give it minimal instructions, and then, the more information it receives, the more it learns”.

The computer was endowed with the ability to play intellectual games for commercial use and became a kind of window to the future.


If you are firmly convinced of something, if you know exactly what the buyer wants, you will conquer the market


Virginia “Ginni” Rometty


“The world has become too complex — it can no longer be programmed,” said Ginni Rometty. “Self-learning systems are needed. Watson is for decades. It heralds a new era in IT manufacturing”.

Among the merits of the ex-CEO of IBM there is also an important deal — the purchase of a large consulting company Pricewaterhouse Coopers Consulting for $3.5 billion twenty years ago. The echoes of this deal are still palpable.

Ginni Rometty identifies five components of continuous transformation for corporations that work in the IT sector, and in other different spheres. She adheres to the rule of increasing the value in order to enter a new stage of development, insists on expanding markets and updating the franchise. At the same time, she assigns an important role to upgrading the skills of employees and their training. This is the basis of company’s update.




With an authority in information technology and recruitment, Virginia Rometty has been a guest speaker at various reputable forums and conferences. For example, in her talk at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, she emphasized the importance of predicting and calculating steps ahead,

“When it comes to markets for the next decade, the main dividing line in business will be about who, and in which way uses the information. And we are not talking about the technical side, we are talking about forecasting, analysis, culture”.


"Don't let others define you. You define yourself". Leadership rules of Virginia "Ginni Rometty, ex-CEO of IBM Corporation
IBM Watson as a paticipant in Jeopardy! The computer won, earning $1 million /


According to the ex-CEO of IBM, employees are the most important capital of every company. In large companies that work in the field of information technology, there are plenty of people with higher education.

But you should not write off the talented people with technical skills who have completed the courses, or those who studied on their own, through trials and mistakes. These in-demand IT people will become the “new collars”.


I don’t believe in inevitability. It means that I do not wait until everything is formed by itself, I believe that everything can be changed


Virginia “Ginni” Rometty


“If you strictly adhere to your convictions, then you will be able to turn the company towards big achievements, because it is not so difficult to tell people what they should do. It is difficult to make them understand why it is needed. It is very important that they understand this, so that they share your faith and your passion. And with this, you can conquer the markets,” Rometty is sure.

Once you are tuned in conquering the markets, it is very important not to lose yourself. “Don’t let others define you. You define yourself!” advises ex-IBM CEO Virginia Rometty. This rule led her corporation to success.

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