Photo by Lukas L

“I am not in a leadership position,” Is a common excuse for not working on leadership skills. You never will be, if that’s the tack you are taking. You don’t have to be an executive or a manager to be a leader.

You’re already a leader and you don’t even know it. You have to lead the household, your future business, the infielders on your softball team. Most importantly you must lead yourself.

So many people struggle to just wake up and make the bed. I am deadly accurate at pressing the snooze button. …

The King

“Look at the faces of the men seated at the table. I do believe they wish you well. But I also see that they have their own kingdoms behind their eyes”

— Queen Phillipa

The King (Netflix 2019) is a movie that rewards an earnest viewer. The length and pace makes it difficult to pay attention in a time where we are used to 2 hours of Chris Hemsworth destroying giants with lightning bolts and hammer. Nonetheless it is crammed with important leadership lessons, great acting, and sweet bowl cuts.

The King opens on turbulent times for England. The kingdom…

Run Silent, Run Deep

Run Silent, Run Deep (MGM 1958)

Whitewater curls as a submarine surfaces and knifes through the ocean in search of battle with the enemy. Inside its metal hull, two leaders battle each other. Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)is a classic film, it is beautifully shot, written, and acted by Hollywood legends.

It is also hokey, in a good way. You can tell the submarines and boats are models in a pool. You can see wires pulling them through the frame. The bottom of the pool in is sometimes visible. Yet, the story and cinematography is more powerful than many of the movies we see today.

Despite…

Its Easier Than You Think

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A blob of text, spreadsheet, database. That is the Pokemon evolution of data. Maybe you start with a to-do list. You realize you want to keep track of a little more info in your to-do list, maybe you want to add a date and some comments, so you move it to a spreadsheet.

You realize this is the best to-do list idea ever and you want to bring it to your team. Perhaps you want to track to-do lists inside of to-do lists and query past to-do list performance to optimize everybody’s time.

You’re insane about productivity, good on you.You…

The Value of a Thankless Job

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“Your credit card was found on the dark web…” read the opening of the letter from my bank. They’d proactively sent me a new card and a year of identity protection. Such is the cost of doing business in a digital world.

While discussing with a friend it was interesting how ordinary this has become. He’d received several of these types of letters in recent years. I’ve been notified that my information was accessed in breaches of TaskRabbit and a much scarier “Office of Personal Management” breach. …

Here’s some things sales teams can do better.

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I’ve been privy to IT purchasing decisions of all sorts. I’ve seen gizmos, gadgets, and software galore. I’ve enjoyed product demos good and bad.

I know sales is a difficult job and I appreciate the hustle. Listen, I want to be sold. I want you to win over my team and my bosses. We took the meeting for a reason, we want to find out if your product can help!

In the interest of making more sales, more solutions, and more happy customers I want to share some observations. …

Let the best ideas win

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Utrectht, a city in the Netherlands, has built a bicycling infrastructure that supports over 125,000 trips every day. They did it with large scale problem solving. They’ve achieved some brilliant social and fiscal rewards.

The savings from reduced air pollution and healthcare costs are estimated to be worth about $300 million annually.

Along the way Ulrectht citizens created unique and beautiful solutions for problems such as the Dafne Schippers Bridge, a graceful and functional bridge that partially sits on the roof of a school.

These types of solutions and a legacy of success is driven by a shared vision. Ideas…

Smash Bottlenecks and Create Growth

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“I’ve worked 65 hours this week.”

“The service desk called me in at 4am to restart the service I built the other day.”

“I don’t care what it takes or how many hours you need to work, this project’s deadline is in 2 weeks. Re-prioritize everything.”

These are common phrases heard in many IT departments. They’re met with weary, knowing eyes from other teammates. To be blunt these phrases are often damaging and they are a well disguised humble-brag. The presence of these phrases indicates some potential cultural problems.

IT departments are especially prone to hero syndrome. An over reliance…

Go with the flow to complete IT Projects

Photo by Firdouss Ross

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them — that only creates sorrow.” — Lao Tzu

“Jump!” The river guide commanded as our raft slugged through a CAT III rapid. We obliged, splashed into the brisk Colorado river, and assumed the safety position. The river guides made it clear that people were going to fall out as we worked through the more difficult rapids.

They had us jump into the CAT III rapids to get a feel for pointing our feet down stream, keeping our feet up, tucking our chin and building trust in our safety…

Jump Start Your Own Apprenticeship

Photo by Paul Esch-Laurent on Unsplash

I was annoyed at myself for coming to the conclusion that the standard college path is pointless for those entering the Information Technology career field. I was taught my whole life that college was important, still is for some paths, but IT is dubious.

I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree online via Western Governors University when I came to a realization. WGU was keeping curriculum up to date by augmenting it with online resources. I was directed to augment my learning with a Youtube series for one of my courses.

Its a smart move…

Paul M

I love to tackle difficult projects. I believe that every person has a great idea or quest they must follow.

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