How This CEO Earned a 99% Employee Approval Rating

When it comes to leading, Pat Gelsinger, the former CEO at VMware and current CEO of Intel, is almost perfect.

In 2019, when Pat was at VMware, he was voted best CEO of a large company in America, with a staggering 99% employee approval rating. Contrast that with the average CEO approval rating of 69%, and clearly, Pat is doing something right.

What sets Pat apart from other CEOs? Here are five things he does to build trust and loyalty from his employees:

Pat doesn’t just lead a technology company — he is actively involved in the work and has built and designed many prominent pieces of the software. He can relate to his employees on a different level because he understands in detail the work they are doing and how each part contributes to the company’s overall goals.

Pat isn’t the typical stodgy CEO. He’s willing to have fun and put himself out there to build relationships. Pat surprised employees when he proudly displayed a tattoo of VMware’s logo on his forearm during his keynote address at the company’s annual conference in 2018. The tattoo was temporary, but it showed his fun attitude and devotion to the company.

Pat played a critical role in building VMware’s innovative culture by ensuring employees had the tools and mentoring they needed and encouraging them to enjoy the work they do together. Pat encourages employees to collaborate and take risks for the good of society and the company.

In an age of transparent CEOs, Pat is one of the best. He is active on Twitter as a way to show his personality and share his expertise. Leveraging social media allows Pat to be authentic and vulnerable. He’s accessible to employees and customers, and they feel like they know the real him. He doesn’t hide behind a persona but is authentic for the world to see.

Aside from being an accomplished CEO, Pat is also a dedicated philanthropist. He donates nearly half of his income to charities around the world and supports a variety of causes, including education, community building, healthcare, and disaster recovery. This attitude of doing good resonates with his employees, who realize he is humble and willing to put other people above himself.

With a near-perfect approval rating, Pat Gelsinger is one of the greatest leaders of our modern age. His balance of fun, humility, and hard work have built a thriving company that empowers employees to do their best.

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4x Best-Selling Author, Speaker, & Futurist. Founder of Exploring Leadership, Employee Experience, & The Future of Work

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Jacob Morgan

4x Best-Selling Author, Speaker, & Futurist. Founder of Exploring Leadership, Employee Experience, & The Future of Work