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The Education Of Andrew Grove

Cramped, crowded with management and technical books, and festooned with Post-it notes, Andrew S. Grove's cubicle at Intel Corp. doesn't look much different than those surrounding it. More than anything else at the company, though, it symbolizes the open, proactive culture that has led Intel to sales of $11.5 billion and absolute dominance of the market for microprocessors--the chips that lie at the heart of the world's millions of personal computers.

Grove sits in a cubicle precisely to eliminate barriers between chief executive and staff. When he is around, anybody can stop by and bend his ear, even to tell him he screwed up on a decision. There's no fear of getting fired--Grove encourages what he calls "constructive confrontation." In the ceaseless race to put more transistors on ever-smaller slivers of silicon, there's no time for anything as inefficient as bureaucratic protocol.