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November 2014 • The PCB Design Magazine 53 ThE QuALITIES OF GREAT BOSSES continues abby Monaco, CiD, is a director of products and marketing for intercept Technology. she can be reached by clicking here. software bytes by Real Time with... NEPCON South China researchers from the university of Cambridge have identified a class of low-cost, easily-pro- cessed semiconducting polymers. For years, researchers have been searching for semiconducting polymers that can be solution processed and printed. These materials are used in printed electronic circuits, large-area solar cells and flexible leD displays. "These materials resemble tiny ribbons of graphene in which the electrons can zoom fast along the length of the polymer chain, although not yet as fast as in graphene," said Dr. Deepak venkateshvaran, the paper's other lead author. New Material Could Pave Way for Flex Electronics, Displays 5. They've been there, done that … and still do that. One time, we had a customer conversion contract come in. It sat in the background be- cause we were all too busy to take it on, and then the customer began to ask where his conversion was. Steve asked around, saw the problem, and took on the task himself. I was originally hired to do conversion work in 2001, and here was my boss, doing my menial tasks because he felt that what I was doing was too important. He just jumped onto the team and took care of business. 6. They lead by permission, not authority. None of us want to see Steve retire, and he swears he'll work until he's 85. In Haden's words, we truly are "motivated and inspired by the person." Steve built this company on hard work and hard play, and we are more than hap- py to be part of it. 7: They embrace a larger purpose. My co-workers and I are treated like human beings, individuals with minds and struggles of our own. If we need a break, we can throw in the towel and cry exhaustion. When we're re- ally grinding, we give up nights and weekends to make sure the team can keep moving with- out one of us holding up progress. And we do this willingly because we believe as strongly as Steve that we can do it. Ours is a small company tackling big ideas, and it's tremendously satisfy- ing to see our work come to fruition. 8: They take real, not fake, risks. So many times at meetings, I've said, "Why do we need that?" Or, "That's going to take a lot of manpower." One of our most challeng- ing and successful projects was redesigning our 20-year-old Pantheon suite to meet modern user interface standards. Year after year, we lamented that we couldn't spare the necessary manpower to update our now-clunky tool. Finally, Steve challenged the engineers to stop grumbling and find a way to make it happen. After a month or two of working on it alongside other proj- ects, one of our engineers found a way to cut the project time down to a mere six months. We had estimated three years. So, after six months of some really hard work by everyone, we released a shiny new PCB software tool. New sales start flowing in, and our existing customer renewals took a jump up. Winning the NPI award at PCB West felt like the pinnacle of all my years of work at Intercept. What a cool way to work: to be led by ex- ample, inspired, and motivated year in and year out. When I look at who I was 14 years ago when I was hired at Intercept, I can't believe the heaps of experience, business acumen, and wis- dom I've learned from Steve. I can only hope to continue to live up to his expectations. Think about it: Is your boss a great boss? If you're a manager yourself, are you one of the great ones? Read Haden's article and give it some thought. It's never too late to strive for greatness. PCBDESIGN

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