A good community can teach you a lot. And Enterprise Efficiency has been one of the best.
When I got hear nearly three and a half years ago (within days of Sara's start date and Dave's) I had spent most of the preceding couple of years reviewing big computer systems and trying to keep my heart beating merrily along. Since arriving here, I've learned relatively little about new ways to break big hardware but an awful lot about how executives should behave. And for that knowledge, I have the folks here at E2 to thank -- well, them and the people we talked with in order to bring a bit of information to the assembled throng.
As we move into our new space, I'll be spending a lot of time on radio. That's nothing really new (we've done more than 150 shows since the current crew started here), but it will be more of a focus for me than it's been in the past. Before I head off to the world of audio excellence, though, I thought I'd share a few pearls of wisdom I've gathered from the last 1,200 or do days.
Be curious: No matter how good you are at the current Big Thing in IT, the clock is running on the value of your knowledge. Be on the lookout for the Next Big Thing, and you'll have a much better chance at surfing the next technology wave, rather than being dashed upon the IT rocks.
Be in the game: The days of IT as a service bureau for the groups doing the "real work" of the enterprise are gone. If you aren't a partner in strategic planning, then you're not bringing any real value to the organization -- and somewhere out there is a cloud company waiting to steal your job.
Be young: A few years back, it was cute when executives bragged about having their secretaries print out their email. It's not cute anymore. Neither is it cute when you don't know what the latest social media or the latest mobile technology are. Stay active. Stay young -- and keep some young people around to help you with both of those.
Be friendly: You need friends in today's corporate world. Collaborate often and well. Sit on committees for which you weren't volunteered. Be easy to work with from an executive's point of view. All this will help keep you in the game and keep you at the table where the big decisions are made.
Be nice: Executive lore is filled with stories of absolute tyrants who somehow made things happen. Here's the thing: They're the exceptions. You can have high standards and let people know that they must be met, but you can be a decent human being while doing that. Smile. Listen. Understand. It's amazing how far those qualities will take you.
Breathe: We've had several shows about mindful management, and the results seem clear: There are tangible advantages to taking time each day simply to be alone with your breathing. You've got the time. Breathe. You and everyone you contact will be the better for it.
So that's it from me. I hope I've helped you enjoy a few minutes here at E2, and that you've taken away a few things that help you be better at some of the things you do. I hope you'll join us at InformationWeek -- as I've said a time or two before, we could not and would not do this without you.
Thank you, one and all, for sharing a bit of who you are with us.
Curtis Franklin, Jr.
Executive Editor, Enterprise Efficiency