Posted by: NWC News Desk - September 13, 2007
P O W E L L, W y o. - Former Microsoft executive Rick LaPlante will discuss the difference between leadership and management Tuesday, Sept. 25, at an 8 a.m. Business and Breakfast session held in the Center for Training and Development on the Northwest College West Campus. The one-hour program, which includes a continental breakfast, is free of charge.
In his presentation, LaPlante will review the context and breadth of issues business leaders deal with and develop a framework individuals can use for thinking about skills they may need to grow into a business leadership role.
Among the traits required of leadership, according to LaPlante, is the willingness to live dangerously. In explaining this, he points to a quote taken from the book "Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading" written by Martin Linsky and Ronald Heifetz: "To lead is to live dangerously because when leadership counts, when you lead people through difficult change, you challenge what people hold dear - their daily habits, tools, loyalties, and ways of thinking - with nothing more to offer perhaps than a possibility."
LaPlante joined Microsoft in 1988 and held a variety of positions ranging from software design engineer, development manager of Microsoft's internal tools engineering team, and director of business development for the company's developer and .NET platform lines of business.
In 1999, he created the business plan that turned into Visual Studio Team System and served as the director and general manager of the product line since its inception. In that role he was responsible for leading the engineering team of nearly 400 people in locations across the globe and overseeing the product definition, business, partner, and go-to-market strategies for the Team System business, which delivered over $350 million in new revenue for Microsoft in its first full year in the market.
In October 2006, LaPlante left Microsoft to live in Powell where he is "one third" of Triple L Cattle, along with his wife and daughter. When not attempting to learn everything he can about ranching, he volunteers at schools, does consulting work for Microsoft, coaches other business executives and works on projects for the companies where he sits on the board of directors.
The Business and Breakfast series is sponsored the last Tuesday of each month to give hectic business owners an opportunity to pick up some business savvy before heading to the workplace. Sponsors are the NWC Center for Training and Development, Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce, Wyoming Small Business Development Center, U.S. Small Business Administration, Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming.
For more information, e-mail Stacy Gilman or call (307) 754-6062.