This is really a post about leadership in general, but I like to apply it to our industry. I am totally cool if you take these concepts and apply them elsewhere.
In any work environment there is constant posturing, politicing, conflicting, that has nothing to do with the actual cause of the workplace. I am going to offer a few leadership tips for everyone, not just for managers, vp’s and directors. Tips that we can all put to use.
1. It is not all about you. We all know that “guy” (or girl). Using every oppurtunity to push others down and himself up. Using others backs to climb on never lasts. Being the MVP of a losing team is never my goal, make everyone around you better. The skills involved in doing that will take you further than your daily task knowledge. No one ever says, “Wow, Jon sure can deploy a sweet VM.” If you are known for adding value, contributing and making everyone better that is how what you do will last. Valuing your team as something more than tools to make you look good is a good start.
2. Have a Purpose/Mission. I am here to change the world. Personally and Professionally. I have done jobs and have volunteered with people and organizations where no one knows why they do what they do. If you are making Pizza, make life changing pizza. If you are building next-gen datacenters, do it in a way that will alter life for someone.
3. Lead, Even if you aren’t supposed to. Don’t sit around and wait to be asked to do something leadershippy.
4. Have a Strategy. If you don’t know why you do what you do get that first. Then decide how the world will look when you are done. Impact (well good impact) on people will not happen on accident.
5. If you see a problem be part of the Solution. Stop complaining. There is only so much time in the day. Personally, it is natural for me to complain. I am very good at pointing out faults in everything. I have to consciously make the decision to work on the solutions for things I can change and shut up about the other stuff (for now). Some things just need the proper timing.
6. Community. Jump into the deep end of the pool of community. Make this a core tenant of everything you participate in. You can not do it all by yourself. Community substitues like Twitter and Facebook are a start but go meet in person with some real people. Just an idea.
The most cynical of my readers never started reading this. If you got this far, I hope in your mind you see how this applies to you. Of course any comments are welcome.