Watching with pride and envy and gratitude

When I came to IBM, I said one of my aspirations was to help someone reach a Sr. VP in IBM.  I don’t mean promote them, but I mean be part of their path.  We all work in web of influence.  Helping others mature along their paths and achieve to their highest levels is critical.

At the same time, it can mean promoting people to your level or above.  It is impossible to not feel a twinge of jealousy.  For me, I have to acknowledge this, but then move on.  Good news is I think I got close.

My dear friend, colleague, and now Sr. VP Vijay at SAP has made it.  In all honesty, I had very little nothing to do with it.  Maybe an encouraging word or a bit of advice, but it was Vijay’s work ethic, willingness to take chances, and positive bright outlook on life, technology, and people that got him to this level.

It is not anyone, but all of these combined that has brought him success.  At a large client, he took on the latest Netweaver features when everyone including me said they wouldn’t work.  When they didn’t, he didn’t stop.  He just got some help from SAP establishing a relationship with those in SAP and then succeeded.  Later he turned his gregarious nature, sharp mind, and experience into a blog.  At the point he entered the digital public domain, there were very few and no real IBM policy.  Vijay has lead the way.

In the end, I think I gained the most.  I learned to take a more positive attitude and avoid my darker side.  I moved my blogging from inside IBM and inside of SAP, to this forum.  While I don’t expect to gather the response that Vijay’s http://andvijaysays.wordpress.com/ blog gathers, it has been a learning experience for me.

Now that I have a colleague who made it to SVP in SAP; I’ll have to find someone to work with to make SVP in IBM.  And let me challenge you, who are you helping move their career and life forward?  I think you’ll find you get as much, or more than you give.

A view from the C-Suite

I love working with technical people.  I’ve either been one or managed them my entire career.  When people used to tell me Unix wasn’t friendly, I used to respond “if you want friendly, get a dog.”  One time when I was managing the Basis team for a client on a large implementation, the project executive called me and said my new “guy” had arrived and was lost.  I asked him how did he know he was my guy, he said “he’s wearing suite pants 2 inches too short, white socks, and hard shoes.”  I responded “He’s mine – which way did he go?”  Not all technical people fit the stereotype and many don’t, but enough do that it rings true to anyone I’ve shared this story with.

Since I started my career in college swearing I’d never wear a tie (I was a biologist), live in cornfield (only home in Naperville, IL I could afford), or work for IBM (the implemented a great Unix variant: AIX),  What I find so amazing about working with technical people is how they think.  Technical people love to solve problems.  In my career, I found I wanted to influence not just the details of implementation of the technology, but the thought that went into designing the project.  To do that required  more than just learning to tie a tie and put on suit.  It meant learning to understand how business was conducted and how and what the senior leaders in companies thought.

Here are some great insights collected by IBM of how the executives at your company view the world.  It has been collected, collated, and put into a readily consumable format.  And yes, I work for IBM.  I’m proud of working for them; however, this is my personal blog, so this is more me than the company.  In fact, I required to tell you that this is my personal opinion, plus it really is.

Regardless, since irregardless isn’t a word, this is great information.

Global CFO Study

http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/cfo/cfostudy2010/

C-suite insights

http://www-935.ibm.com/services/c-suite/insights/

CEO study

http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/ceo/ceostudy2010/

CIO study

http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/cio/ciostudy/executive-views.html

Recently, I read the following.

Leave it to Rob Carter, the CIO of FedEx, to clarify what’s really powerful about cloud computing. Carter, the company’s CIO since 2000 and an InformationWeek advisory board member for almost as long, has a knack for discussing technology in a way that cuts to the business payoff, but without leaning on buzzwords that whitewash the complexity involved.

Carter boils down cloud computing, when applied to IT infrastructure, to “general purpose computing.” It’s the ability to connect servers, networking, and storage that are “workload agnostic,” meaning the jobs they handle can be shuffled around among a company’s computers, so those machines are used as efficiently as possible.

http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/interviews/229100022

I agree from an operational view, but not from the bigger picture.  Cloud is part of revolution of opening computing from being a model of the sub-set of our life to a model of our life.  Cloud makes raw computing power almost free.  Now it only a question of what to do with it and how to use it.

I’d also like to thank my friend, colleague, and mentor for encouraging me to first blog on SAP Developers Network and now here.  I don’t think I would have done it without his encouragement.  His is one of the few blogs I seldom miss.

http://andvijaysays.wordpress.com/