Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

How did you respond to your last promotion? Personally, the pride I took from my accomplishment didn’t stick around for very long.

I sometimes try to take a second or two and reflect on success, but my self-doubt usually kicks into overdrive. I am overcome with worry about my suitability for the next challenge.

This is actually a natural and healthy reaction. My promotion is, I hope, more than a title change. A promotion should come with new responsibilities. It might even be into a completely different role. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

I recently moved into a new role at work. I’m really enjoying it so far. I left a position that I’d spent the better part of 7 years performing. In my old role I felt I had good situational and operational awareness. In my new role, in product management, I’m drinking from the firehose. I don’t have anywhere near the level of comfort I had in my old position. It’s exhilarating!

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” — Henri Bergson

Interestingly, about a month into my new role, something happened. In my old stomping grounds, the team experienced an issue with performance. The issue was occurring in the production environment. The team was quite skilled and they had worked through diagnosing the issue. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

One surefire way to get followers on Medium seems to be writing about how to become popular on Medium. Everyone wants a soap box. They crave for others to see and respect their work. Most of these articles seem to focus on a few keys areas to build up your readership.

  • Keep showing up. Establish a cadence and stick to it, even when it’s hard.
  • Be relevant. Write about things that interest people.
  • Use tags and publications. Make finding your work frictionless.

Great tips! This advice seems tactical enough. We can all go forth and create our cult like followings.

“If anyone needs an ark, I happen to Noah guy!” …


Image for post
Image for post
Image by Mohammad Metri via Unsplash

Sometimes our greatest strength is also our achilles heal. Great leaders are able to process and adapt to new information in the blink of an eye. The problem comes when we stop adapting to new information and instead only hear the parts of the message that reinforce our existing world view. We all have examples of this, but how does it happen? More importantly, can we prevent it?

It all starts with being open to learning. How do I learn something new? What steps do I take to explore an unknown application, skill or concept? Some people jump right in and try. Others go off and read books or study. Different types of learners prefer to receive information in different forms. One of the most popular models for describing our learning preferences is VAK. VAK breaks learning preference into three buckets. …


Hello everyone! Here is my holiday themed, 200 word entry for The Writing Cooperative December writing challenge. I don’t normally write fiction, so I am even more curious and receptive to your feedback!

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by David Henrichs via Unsplash

The Terminal

The strangers huddled together impatiently. They were each waiting for the announcement that would make or break their holiday. They had journeyed to London’s Heathrow Airport as individuals. They arrived with a shared sense of purpose. Improbably united from their various corners of the city. Many hours later, each hoped, against hope, for an answer to their prayers.

They were well aware that this was their last opportunity to fly to San Francisco today. It was also their only hope of reaching their loved ones in time for the holiday. At journey start, their excitement had been palpable. Each of them had somewhere to be, a place where they were loved and truly belonged. Now, they were citizens of Heathrow terminal 5. Lives and plans carelessly disrupted by some spoiled teenager and his toy drone. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by rawpixel.com via Pexels

Take a minute to reflect on what makes a leader successful. One of the first words that comes to mind for me is influence. Influence affects your relationships with coworkers, customers and friends. Influence can be a scary word, but don’t worry, we’re not talking about manipulating others. We’re talking about the kind of influence that inspires people to align around a common goal. The kind of influence that makes others want to move mountains and swim oceans to see it fulfilled.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney

So how do we become influential and make dreams into reality?

You may have heard that the best influencers are authentic, but what does this mean? To answer this question, we need to think about the ways in which people communicate. A Google search will turn up several models for categorizing communication. For the sake of simplicity, I will break it down into three critical…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by pixabay.com via Pexels

Regardless of the type of goal that you set, it’s important to make it measurable. Without measurement, how can you tell where you started or, perhaps more importantly, how you have progressed towards your desired outcome. If it can’t be measured, how can you tell when you’re done? When do you decide that you should adjust your strategy?

If you can’t articulate where you began, or when you’re complete, have you really accomplished anything at all? Your guess is as good as mine!

Often in a business setting, a company doesn’t have the data that they need to effectively measure something. There are two ways that the company can react to this situation. In the best case, people will be so hungry to fill the gap that they will find ways to collect the missing data. More commonly, however, people are resigned to the fact that the data doesn’t exist and shrug their shoulders and move on. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by pixabay.com via Pexels

A few times in your career, you might be given an opportunity to pivot into a role that is outside of your comfort zone. I’ve had this opportunity at several points throughout mine.

I started out as a volunteer systems administrator and eventually moved to a paid role in the same. Over the years, I’ve been a quota bearing sales representative, a sales engineer, a software engineer, an operations engineer and then a manager and leader within many of these disciplines.

Every time I’ve been given an opportunity to try something new, I’ve run through the following exercise to help determine if this role was right for me at this given time. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

In the last 20 years, I’ve been fortunate to work on a number of different software projects. Earlier in my career, I was usually contributing to a plan that someone else had defined. This made it easy to understand exactly what was required. It was all mapped out for me. I just had to build my part.

At the time, I don’t think I appreciated how much effort goes into planning a successful product. Since I was the person writing the code, I foolishly assumed that I was the one doing all of the heavy lifting. Of course, with some maturity, I realized that good products come from great teams and that no single role can make something truly exciting. …

About

S. Zachariah Sprackett

SVP, Product - SugarCRM. I’m on a mission to help one million people become more impactful leaders. I do this by speaking, writing and mentoring.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store