38 – Dr. Steven Snyder: Author of “Leadership & the Art of Struggle”

steven-synderSteven Snyder, Ph.D., founder of Twin Cities-based Snyder Leadership Group, established his organizational consulting firm to provide a resource for organizations and their executives to advance their leadership capabilities and achieve greater success.

An innovator in thought leadership, Snyder has developed the breakthrough concepts introduced in his book, Leadership and the Art of Struggle, based on years of leadership studies, intensive research, and data derived from extensive interviews with real-world executives from major corporations. His advancements in the practice of leadership also derive from his own leadership experiences as an early leader at Microsoft where he worked closely with Bill Gates, as well as his experience as a CEO of a publicly held company.

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After gaining experience in management consulting at Touche Ross & Co, Snyder joined Microsoft when that company was in its infancy. His work there, praised by founder Bill Gates, secured the relationship with IBM during a crucial stage in Microsoft’s growth and helped shape the history of the personal computer industry.

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Promoted as Microsoft’s first business unit general manager, Snyder led the company’s Development Tool business where he introduced organizational and process innovations that have become hallmarks of Microsoft’s strategy. Under his leadership, Snyder’s team blazed new trails of technology innovation, earning the company PC Magazine’s prestigious Technical Excellence Award for an unprecedented two years in a row.

After his influential tenure at Microsoft, Snyder earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Minnesota. He applied his multidisciplinary background to initiate innovative software for human resource development at Personnel Decisions International (PDI), a worldwide human resources consulting firm. While at PDI, he honed his knowledge of leadership competency development.

When Internet advancements drew Snyder’s attention, he joined forces with computer scientists from the University of Minnesota to pioneer a groundbreaking technology called “collaborative filtering.” As co-founder and CEO of Net Perceptions, he successfully commercialized this invention to enable the real-time personalized recommendations that have become central to the online shopping experience with Amazon.com, the company’s first customer. This groundbreaking work won Snyder the first-ever World Technology Award for Commerce in 1999 for “contributing to the advance of emerging technologies for the benefit of business and society.”

In addition to his work with Snyder Leadership Group, Snyder was an Executive in Residence at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrative Leadership and is currently an Executive Fellow in Leadership at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. He has also taught business ethics as an adjunct faculty member at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and Executive MBA classes in Warsaw, Poland.

Snyder has been a guest on the ABC-TV Nightline program as well as a featured speaker in North America, Europe, and Asia. In January 2008, Snyder was selected to deliver the seventeenth JRD Tata Oration on Business Ethics in Jamshedpur, India.

In addition to his psychology degrees, Snyder earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Drexel University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He currently lives with his family in the Minneapolis area, where he remains actively engaged in philanthropy and community service.

Snyder is the past president of Bet Shalom Congregation, where he remains on the board of trustees. He has previously served on the boards of Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Foundation of Minneapolis, and Hillel at the University of Minnesota. He also pursues an interest in playing jazz piano.

Vast business knowledge, real-world leadership experience, and keen scholarly insights support Snyder’s commitment to helping other executives and their organizations reach their peak potential. Talk to Snyder Leadership Group today to cultivate your leadership development.

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