Saturday, June 24, 2017

Are You Doing Everything You Can To Help Others Succeed?

My old man once told me, "You can never get promoted until someone else can do your job". While he's correct, it does seem counter-intuitive. Let me get this straight. I'm actually supposed to help someone take my job from me? All the things I've learned..the late nights and weekends...the blood...the sweat...the tears...I'm supposed to just hand over willingly??

YES! That's exactly what I'm saying. In fact, that was the first thing I told incoming ODTUG Board members each year..."get out there and find your replacement". For ODTUG the obvious intent was to keep the pipeline full, but within our own companies I believe it's even more applicable.

This kind of knowledge transfer is going to make your life easier and more rewarding. Without having to fight those same fires day in and day out, you'll be freed up to take on other challenges within your company. More than likely you're becoming a bottleneck, or pinch point, throttling back the speed at which your company can deliver.

So what are the steps to getting there??
  • Find your bell cow Here in Texas, we know that the bell cow is the one in the herd that the others tend to follow - a leader among the herd. You may be surprised at who this turns out to be. It's not always the most experienced. It's not always the one that does the talking. It's the one the rest of the team respects both personally and professionally.
  • Share your toolbox I maintain, as I believe we all do, a pretty substantial toolbox of bookmarks, videos, whitepapers, code snippets, SQL examples, regular expressions, name it. Share these with your team. Better yet, build a repository the entire team can benefit from.
  • Make introductions This one's extremely important. I recall almost 30 years ago, there was a push to legalize casino gambling in our locale. I talked my way onto the bus heading to the state capital with a contingent of local politicians. One of the old timers was Duffy Adair. I remember to this day, Duffy introducing me to these state politicians saying "You need to know this kid." Needless to say, they all got along just fine NOT knowing me, but the fact that Duffy made the introductions had me on a cloud.
  • Take an interest in junior staffers. This one is very important. Spend time getting to know them on a personal level. Remember we had to learn the tech while they grew up with the tech. Their idea of what is intuitive or non-intuitive could differ from yours. Learn from them.
To summarize, helping others succeed can be the quickest way to ensure your own success.

...our journey continues

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