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Phillip Thomas readily admits that if it were not for his more than a decade of active duty service as a Naval Intelligence Officer, he could not have achieved the business success he now pays forward to others.

Years in the trenches of the booming technology sector, predominantly within Boston’s Route 128 innovation beltway, brought first-hand experience in many high-flying situations involving turnarounds, start-up disruptors, medical device pioneers, homeland security advances, and manufacturing breakthroughs.

As Phillip attributes to one of his influencers, author and leadership innovator Jim Collins (Good to Great; Built to Last), “When what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life.”

The accomplishments in Phillip’s military career correspond appropriately to his business track record. He achieved the status of being consistently reported by his superiors in the top 1% in how the military evaluates an officer. His recognition that success required discipline, hard work and constant self-evaluation to build upon, earned him selection for early advancement into post graduate school at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The military also taught Phillip about mental agility and the capability to adjust your game plan; being willing, as Jim Collins notes, “for every day to be a twenty-day march.” Another gift from his service years was in the infrastructure it provides that teaches you leadership, communication, passion, discipline, resourcefulness and problem-solving skills.

However, one of his most valuable lessons was optimization under duress and constraint. When you’re out at sea, there’s no downtown, no Walmart to get supplies or parts, yet mission number one is the job must get done. Phillip quickly learned how to improvise, coming up with alternative approaches to accomplishing very specific objectives. As a result, a certain degree of innovative creativity, sanctioned by necessity and a lack of resources, embedded in Phillip an approach to problem solving and strategizing on your feet that he applies today.

Wang Labs: A Great Start
Phillip’s early career years at Wang Laboratories was a study in oversized innovation, managing the convergence and integration of wide-ranging resources in a focused way to achieve groundbreaking profitability, market presence and market share.

His well-rounded tenure at Wang provided Phillip with his starting point in product development – a deep exposure to engineering, manufacturing, service, sales and marketing as well as patents, legal and other concerns that were in the purview of a CEO. That opportunity, as a Product Line Manager, led to his achieving a hundred million dollars+ in revenue for his line after only three-and-a-half years.

The recurring theme through Phillip’s journey is focus, commitment, discipline, team work and integrity. The Navy paid it forward for his work today by embedding in him patience, yet persistence, to help executives evolve with their organization, stay true to the mission, and create a culture of respect, achievement and success-oriented leadership.

Phillip C. Thomas
Boston Business Group

  • Thirty years of high-tech business leadership experience as a public and private company CEO
  • Expertise in operational leadership, merger and acquisition activities, high performance corporate culture development and maximization of revenue-profit goals
  • Currently CEO, Boston Business Group and Leader, Boston Region Vistage Groups
  • Served as Chairman and CEO of Implant Sciences Corporation (AMEX: IMX) – a manufacturer of explosive-trace-detection systems for Security, Safety and Defense (SS&D) markets
  • Former CEO at Medication Delivery Devices (later acquired by Baxter) and Mitek Systems
  • Former Senior V.P. and Northeast Regional Executive for Vistage International, the world’s leading CEO development organization
  • Eight years as an active duty Naval Intelligence Officer
  • Twice honored as a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program
  • Featured in Forbes magazine and as a cover story in the Boston Business Journal
  • Former Member, Young Presidents Organization
  • Post-graduate professional development program at Stanford University Business School; Presidents Seminar, Harvard Business School
  • M.S., Strategic Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency
  • B.A., Political Science, Brigham Young University

From the Boston Business Journal:

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