SQL IT Operations Excellence IP Architect, colleague, & friend Ward Pond tagged me in a meme started by Chris Shaw (aka SQLShaw who originally tagged a whole lot of geeks including Thomas LaRock aka SQLRockster formerly SQLBatman (R.I.P.) & still lover of bacon who tagged Jeremiah Peschka aka peschkaj who tagged Michelle Ufford aka SQLFool who tagged Jorge Segarra aka SQLChicken who tagged Ward aka sqltwit).
Who has been a great leader in your career and what made them a great leader?
The links reveal many inspiring examples, including those cited by Ward.
One of my patterns for success has been emulating those whom I admire, & they’re the focus of this post.
I’ve had some great managers, but I’ve not been quite as fortunate as Ward. I’ve learned from the flawed role models in terms of what not to do. For example, one allowed political correctness (& fear of possible litigation) to wreck our team, rendering the company virtually worthless. A second had no regard for his employees. A second epitomized the Peter Principle. A fourth personified the word “weasel”. I moved on from all of these positions to bigger, better, & greener pastures.
Excluding my current management team, Amol Dalvi now of RightOn Interactive (ROI) was perhaps the best manager I’ve ever had. He taught me fair-mindedness to an extent I’d heretofore not known. Though he was in management, he is a full-fledged geek, & spent as much time in the trenches as the rest of us—including myriad long nights. He is one of the most honest people I’ve ever met. I know no one more capable of consensus building. Amol is also courageous. He left a perfectly good job to start his own company—& even in today’s climate things are going great!
Gary Rush now works as a CxO for Angie’s List, was easily the best executive I’ve ever worked with. Gary shepherded us through phenomenal growth with limited resources. Gary has two great skills:
- Critical Thinking: He could listen, ask precision questions, distill available information, & provide exquisite guidance.
- Grace Under Pressure: Gary handled some very, very tough circumstances with grace.
A.C.E. Team Management
This would be gratuitous pandering if I suspected my management actually reads my blog. Just in case they do I’ll not name names. Suffice to say that A.C.E. has world-class management befitting a world-class organization. My team has something which is missing at a lot of places: Integrity. I’ll spare details except to say that a deal we made when I on-boarded was honored 100%. They could’ve found wriggle room but they didn’t even try. Now that is world-class.
There Is No Fate But What You Make
My closing is timely, considering the release this week of Terminator Salvation.
…a tenet I live by - there's no fate but what you make. It's actually a quote from the Terminator 2 movie and it basically means that nothing happens to you unless you make it, and you're responsible for your own life. This applies equally to life and to your career.
If you're not in an optimal place in your life for whatever reason (happiness, job, city, partner), then it's up to you to change it. And you should have the confidence to try. Sometimes you might try and fail, but at least you can say to yourself that you've tried. I've changed jobs, cities, and partners a few times each and (luckily for me) it always worked out. Sometimes the change was hard to make, sometimes it wasn't. But I knew it was up to me if I wanted a change so I had no choice but to make it happen or adapt to the current situation.
Paul’s prose mirrors my philosophy incredibly well. I even use “There Is No Fate But What You Make” as a signature tag line. As I’ve stated elsewhere on this blog, I indulge in Intentional Living. It’s all about personal choices. Our happiness, our satisfaction, our lives—it’s all an inside job. It’s all up to us. There is no fate but what we make.
There is no fate but what we make. —John Connor