Funny Things You’ll Hear at the “Leadership for IT Professionals” at the 2011 SQLRally





The 2011 PASS SQLRally is just about one month away and it's high time I highlighted some of the important things you'll be hearing about in my precon seminar Leadership and Team Management Skills for the IT Professional. Just to set the context, many of us IT people got to our lofty career positions because of our keen use of technology.  It takes a lot of smarts to get where we've gotten, but they are a very specific set of smarts that can't always be used in every business setting.  And, since so many of us have topped out in our potential salary as long as we stay in the trenches and the … [Read more...]

SQLServerPedia Has a New Editor-in-Chief. Oh no, it’s Me!





Attrition has taken its toll once again as a few good friends  move from being colleagues to being former colleagues. As a result of the folks moving on to bigger and better things, I'm now stepping up in to the roll of editor-in-chief of SQLServerPedia.  This roll is mostly about checking on the quality of content produced by our syndicating bloggers to make sure that they're not trying to sell products or services and that their posts are of high quality.  That's about where the official duties end, save for things like acting as a judge in big SSP contests. One new aspect that I want … [Read more...]

Efficiency and Effectiveness at Work [Video]

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In this vblog entry on www.SQLServerPedia.com shows SQL Server expert Kevin Kline discussing his views on how to be both efficient and effective in your day to day and career - aimed at the SQL Server professional, but good for anyone. Originally posted August 08, 2008. … [Read more...]

Plays Well With Others – So You’re the Boss Now…




I’m frequently asked the following paraphrased question: I’d been happily plugging away in my job as a {DBA/Dev/Terminator/Warp Drive Engineer} for several years, when I applied for the manager position.  I was surprised and thrilled when I got the job!  But now that I’ve been in the job for a while, I find that no one on the team is thrilled with me.  I know that I made a lot of changes.  But they were all for the good of the team.  What should I do to reconnect with my team and rebuild my friendships? A common theme in this series, “Plays Well With Others”, is that the skills … [Read more...]

Plays Well With Others – Eight Behaviors of Excellent Leaders

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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 – Dealing with Micromanagement

Imagine you’re working on a new project.  It’s an important project and its success will be a big win for the organization.  You were chosen for the job because of your competency, skill, and effectiveness.  You get things like this done all the time and have a track record for pulling it off.  Now that the project is underway, you’re finding that trust and support you need from management is absent.  Instead, you’ve got a micromanaging boss, who’s put so many additional requirements on your for reporting, meetings, and whatever their favorite nit-picking happens to be that management is … [Read more...]

Plays Well With Others – Influence versus Authority

You’ve probably found that the prefix “lead” is a fairly common occurrence in the technology world.  We have “lead developers”, “lead DBAs”, “lead architects”, and “lead consultants”.  Yet, we don’t have “lead managers”, “lead directors”, or “lead VPs”.  Why is that? Well, there are probably a number of different reasons for having “lead” technologist titles depending on who you ask.  For example, the HR department might say that adding “lead” to a technologist’s title justifies the better salary that the company had to pay to acquire that specific talent.  The IT department chiefs might … [Read more...]

Plays Well With Others – Upsizing Your Skills With OCW

In our last installment , I describe the three essential skills I felt were hallmarks of the best and most successful directors that I’ve worked with.  Good directors, indeed good strategic leaders of all stripes, usually have at least one or more of these skills: strategic planning, visionary goals, and emotional intelligence. The good news about these skills, and lots of other skills that can advance your career, is that you can learn them.  Many people will spend a fortune on a classroom approach to learning these sorts of skills via an MBA.  If you’re a penny pincher, you can get a leg … [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...]

Plays Well With Others – The “Unhiring” Process

It’s not a pleasant topic to discuss.  There are typically two general scenarios for involuntary separation – layoffs and termination.  Layoffs entail a general reduction in work force due to a need to reduce expenses.  Layoffs usually imply that those it affects were dismissed through no fault of their own and that they were otherwise good employees.  Termination, on the other hand, indicates that the employee had failed to meet the expectations of the job and was otherwise incompatible with the needs of the employer.  This is such an unpleasant topic that people manufacture lots of words to … [Read more...]