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What have Michael Dell (of Dell Computers), Jack Welch (of General Electric) and Bill Gates (of Microsoft) got in common? They reached the pinnacle of their domain and organization by knowing their companies industry and products, inside out. These guys are true captains of their industries (whether you like their products or not). All three became head honcho because they committed themselves to their industry, their companies products and shaped product development intimately, as legitimate head of the business and (more importantly) as thought leader and innovator.
It isn’t just the smart talkers or the sharp suits who can reach the top. Above all, the best person to run a computer manufacturer is a computer engineer; the best person to run a coffee empire like Starbucks is a coffee afficianado like Harold Shultz. So use the success of these folks as an inspiration to you as a technical professional, that your passion and commitment to your craft can lead to your utmost success.