What’s the Hidden Issue in the Recent PASS Bylaw Changes?

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The 2004 PASS Board of Directors On December 19, 2013, the PASS board of directors (BoD) proposed a small and targeted set of bylaw changes in response to CA relinquishing the BoD seats they were entitled to as a Founding Partner in the professional association. How Did CA Get Involved with PASS? You might be wondering "How did a company that doesn't seem to make a lot of SQL Server tools get a seat on the board of this huge, international SQL Server professional association?" It's a bit of a shaggy-dog story, so I'll sum it up quickly. Back in the late 1990's, there was a large and … [Read more...]

The New PASS Executive Committee of 2014

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I'm sure you can understand the high level of interest I have in the internal affairs and governance of PASS.  After all, I was one of the founders of the organization way back in 1999 and was president for four years from 2003 through 2006 (fondly remembered as "the hardest fricken years of my life"). So I was keenly interested when the latest press release from PASS named the incoming PASS Executive Committee to take their seats on January 1st, 2014. The executive committee is composed of the officers of the organization, that is, directors who are empowered to sign contracts and to speak … [Read more...]

Do You Have One of “the Three W’s” to Sit on a Board of Directors?

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Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat – I’m not typing “Board of Directors” repeatedly throughout this blog post.  It’s just too much typing.  BoD will have to do.  Live with it. Perhaps, you’ve been paying attention to the PASS Twitter feed, read the newsletters, or otherwise stay abreast of happenings within PASS.  If you haven’t, here’s a news alert – it’s time for a new round of the PASS leadership cycle.  And since this is the season of PASS nominations, I thought it’d be an appropriate time to share some of my lessons learned about effective BoDs. Having spent over a decade … [Read more...]

Why I Do Not Support The Current PASS ExeCo Slate

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I read the PASS Officer Election announcement from June 15th with a bit of trepidation.  There was something about the announcement which made me uncomfortable, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. As a bit of background, the PASS "officers" are also known as the Executive Committee (ExeCo), as described in the PASS Bylaws in section VIII.10.  The ExeCo was added to the governance of PASS back in 2004-2005 as a check-and-balance against the extremely powerful office of president as described in the version of the bylaws PASS currently had in place at that time.  Prior to the ExeCo, the … [Read more...]

Leadership, Management, and SQLRally

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Transparency - A Great Leadership Quality I've always appreciated how Andy Warren (blog| twitter) operates in the most transparent manner, especially as it relates to his role as a director for the Professional Association for SQL Server. For example, Andy's latest blog post about prepping for the SQLRally, to kick off in less than 30 days, is insightful and gives you a good idea of the sort of work a strong director for PASS needs to put in.  I also enjoy how Andy more or less thinks out loud and offers you the chance to provide your input.  In that latest blog post, he was mulling different … [Read more...]

Plays Well With Others – Eight Behaviors of Excellent Leaders

Last week,  I talked about one of the worst type of management scenarios to work under – the micromanager.  Now, let’s take that conversation from the “Dark Side” into the light to talk about great leaders. To say that Dr. William Cohen knows a few things about leadership is approximately the same as saying that Moby Dick was a fish.  Not only was Cohen a former Air Force major general, university president, and business leader, but he has many degrees (including a PhD) and even holds several engineering patents.  One of the many books authored by Dr. Cohen is the 1998 Best Business Book of … [Read more...]

Plays Well With Others – Metrics to the Max!

November 2009 would have been the 100th birthday of famed management guru, Peter Drucker, were he alive today.  Now for those of you who don’t know the name, Peter Drucker was no mere guru or simple pundit.  He was in fact the father of management and universally acclaimed as the world’s greatest management thinker.  Anyone who’s taken a business class, studied for an MBA, or had to deal with an IT project to build a management dashboard has been touched by Peter Drucker.  If you have a spare moment, add Drucker’s Concept of the Corporation to your library. Drucker came upon the scene at a … [Read more...]

Pirates of PASS: Curse of the Elections Process

Cross posted from Jorge Segarra's blog The last few weeks we’ve watched the drama unfold in regards to the PASS BOD elections. We’ve seen people attack criticize the NomCom, the board, PASS itself, the process and the decision of feeding of Gremlins after midnight. Thankfully the fireworks have died down and we can take a look at everything that has happened and make strides to move forward in a positive (and more importantly) constructive manner. Given that, I’ve been asked by my good friend Kevin Kline (Blog | Twitter) to respond to the following: Many in the community seem to think … [Read more...]

Carol McGury Speaks Out on Not-For-Profit Governance

I'd asked my friend and a form ED of PASS to add her thoughts about the governance process for not-for-profit organizations.  Carol is one of the industry's top professionals, serving as the chief operating officer for many years at some of the largest IT and non-IT professional associations.  I always look forward to her insight.  She writes... As an Executive Director for another user group community, I can offer up a few thoughts as it relates to Nominating Committee best practices. I’ve been working with technology and various vendors for over 20 years, and I’ve seen the community … [Read more...]

Plays Well With Others – Successful Directors versus Successful Technologists

The skills that enable a person to be a top-tier database professional have very little to do with being a successful member of a board of directors. So what skills are needed for a person to be successful on a board of directors for any large organization?  Here are a handful of skills, in no particular order, that I’ve seen demonstrated by very successful directors from days past: Strategic thinking Let’s face it - technology is detail-oriented work.  No database professional can be truly effective at their job if they never get the parameters correct when calling a function, can’t … [Read more...]