Awaken the Consultant Within

In the 1980s and 1990s there was a promotional craze happening with the self-promotion, entrepreneurial growth and a significant jump in the self-help marketplace. One of the key leaders in this was Anthony Robbins (aka Tony Robbins). I’ve always admired the work that he did, and his book Awaken the Giant Within could have been the most referenced book at the time on finding your inner giant and making the best of your self and your situation.

Dale Carnegie Re-Born

If we look back a little bit further we can find another well-referenced book which is still being touted as a de facto manual for the sales professional. You’ve probably heard of, or even read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

What many don’t realize, is that this book was written in 1936. Yup, nearly a century ago the concept of being an influencer was a hot topic and has continued to be a major factor in the success of sales professionals and leaders for decades.

Who is Dale Carnegie or Tony Robbins for IT Workers?

This is a great question. Ultimately, I come into the blogging world as a second or third generation from the amazing folks that lead the charge by starting out in the online forums and providing technology solutions at the grass roots level and then becoming the first significant bloggers who put their information and thought leadership out for all to read.

I can’t say who was the one who started it, and it’s impossible to name names without leaving some out. That being said I have to say that folks like Eric Siebert, Mike Laverick, Scott Lowe and Nick Weaver jump to mind as folks that have put themselves out in front of our peers to extend their knowledge into every aspect of IT and to share their journey with us.

Again, I have to stress that these are examples so I apologize that I can’t list the many who have been a part of this shift in openness of IT information. What I’m trying to bring focus to is that these early adopters and

Jack of All Trades – Welcome To the Next Generation of Awesome

I wrote about the Rise of the Generalist previously, and fr om what I have found in the industry, it has held absolutely true. Cloud technologies engulf every aspect of business and systems design and we can no longer just be the “server person” or the “app person” because the lines have quickly become blurred between these areas.

There will almost always be a particular area that each of us excels at and holds a stronger attention for, whether that is storage, networking, development, process design, or any of a number of disciplines. The change that is coming into strong focus across all industry verticals is that a complete end-to-end view is needed to make the best gains in uptake of a product.

You will see that the people who are rising to the top of the heap are those who apply themselves deeply to all aspects of technology and process management. There is a reason that we see the same names coming up regularly in conversations about technology and the IT industry.

DevOps isn’t easy, but it isn’t a fad

The DevOps revolution is really the personification of what we need to work towards in order to get the greatest efficiency in how we build, deploy, and manage our technology products. And for those who study the art of DevOps, you will find that its roots come from manufacturing and general lean methodologies that apply to any business process as well.

I call it an art because it is partly science and partly an art form. There are programmatic techniques and analytic measurements that make up the science side of it, but there is also a people side (yup, there it is again: People, Process, Technology). The artistry of deploying DevOps methods is in bringing people towards new ways to do things.

This starts with you.

Learn to Earn

I am a strong believer in lifelong learning. I read books, blogs and research papers, plus I use a wide variety of online learning tools such as video training, podcasts and community driven groups such as the VMUG and OpenStack meetups that happen in my area.

For you to grow yourself as an “Intrapraneur” (a term beautifully coined in Lean Startup by Eric Ries) you need to consume information, apply new techniques, and build your value as if you were the CTO of an agile startup company. Your value (and often your salary) will most likely increase as you build your skills and grow the value of your organization(s) with your entrepreneurial, consultant-style attitude.

The worst case scenario is that you will be smarter. Not a bad side-effect if you ask me.

Size Doesn’t Matter

Whether you are at a Silicon Valley startup, a worldwide organization steeped in legacy processes, a small Mom and Pop shop, or on your own as a consultant, the methods you apply can be the same. We all have great tools available to us and we are all on an amazing journey here together. I encourage you to spread your wings and reach out to others in the industry. We are all here to share in this experience.

We all have a consultant within us. Let’s help to find yours. And I’ll leave you with this gem while we are at it 🙂


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