By Laura A. Roser
“I like to tell the story of two drivers,” says Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech.“They both start in San Diego. The first driver gets in his car, turns it on and starts driving around. He doesn’t have a plan. He just drives toward whatever looks interesting. He does this for three days and sees some really interesting things in his local area. Then he goes back home. The second driver doesn’t know where she wants to go either, but she does enough research to determine that Boston looks like a pretty cool place. She’s not sure if she’ll like it, but she’ll give it a try. So, she gets in her car, puts a Boston landmark in her GPS and starts driving toward that destination. She drives across the rocky mountains and sees all different kinds of places and landscapes. Three days later she gets to Boston and says to herself, ‘Gee, I don’t want to be in Boston. New York is a lot cooler and I stopped there along the way.’ So, she goes back to New York.”
The common advice to young people is to follow your passion. But, not many people start out knowing exactly what their passions are. They are like the two drivers – neither one of them knew where they wanted to go, but they both wanted to do cool things and see cool places. Yet, only one mapped out a path toward a goal.
“If you don’t know what you want to do, it doesn’t matter,” continues Bracken. “Just set a goal. Any goal.” If you really set a goal, it forces you to line things up and build a path somewhere. If you have a path mapped out, you’ll see a lot more, find a lot more and do a lot more along the way. If you do what the first driver did and you don’t set a path, you end up going around in circles. The experience is much less enlightening.
Bracken has been on quite the ride himself. As a Harvard graduate, he began his career at Arthur Anderson then transitioned to PepsiCo. He has held executive positions at Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool and General Electric. When I asked him if he enjoyed his current position as CEO of Logitech, he said, “I’d pay to have this job.”
When he’s not traveling the world, sharing inspirational wisdom or running board meetings, Bracken enjoys being with his family, going to the symphony, writing, reading poetry and literature, and learning about art. He also does one or two triathlons a year and plays basketball once a week. Basketball has been a love of his since he was a boy in Kentucky.
He doesn’t have all the answers to life’s biggest mysteries, he says, but mapping out a destination has made all the difference in his drive through life.
For more articles on legacy planning, click here to subscribe to Legacy Arts Magazine.As president and chief executive officer of Logitech, Bracken P. Darrell is responsible for Logitech’s strategy for growth and profitability, for the vision for the brand as well as for the company’s operations. Mr. Darrell joined Logitech as president in April 2012, and assumed the role of chief executive officer in January 2013.