softskills If I never get to see the northern lights I won’t be happy. The sheer scope and scale of this naturally occurring phenomenon overwhelms and inspires me. I enjoy challenges – the harder the better.

I find some of my experience in this tech-space has been straight-forward but rarely easy. I remember tough projects spending a lot of their time in the “valley of despair”. Large scale and small and highly complex to low-tech – all IT projects have their own particular flavor of “hard”.

The client always enjoys the “luxury of being unreasonable”. There are difficult and arrogant “heads of operations” who “built this same solution at my last shop” (bless their hearts). There is the head of sales who does not see the need for predictive modeling in the solution set and the guy that says he is not sure “mobile” is a viable solution in the healthcare space.  And those that insist that you “respect the title” and those that hold “court”.  There is “kissing the ring” and re-writing that email 30 times versus the short version.

There is the developer who thinks he is the best BA in the room; the BA who took a couple of coding classes; the QA whose next project should include a project manager title and who could forget the aloof and distant architect (not to mention the know-it-all CIO).  As a CIO I sometimes laugh at all of our dysfunction as few of us can actually admit these failures out loud for fear of looking bad – and of course we can not look bad!

But when they come calling … searching for an actual result … who do we hire?  Who do we hire to do the hard stuff?  I call them the IT Seal Team.

Members of the seal team are an elite crew devoid of excuses and blame with nothing but demonstrable results in the wake.  They make mistakes often as they are not afraid to take risk yet avoid recklessness.  And they are ok with mistakes because they know image is nowhere near as marketable as results.  Only in a presidential election are facts completely irrelevant.  In our world, success breeds inheritance and everyone watching knows when IT succeeds and when it fails.

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