Daily Archives: July 31, 2011

Photos from my IBM scrapbook

I began my career back in the late 1970’s when small and mid-size companies were buying their first computer. It was an exciting time.

One of the things I remember most was the great fun we had at IBM amidst some very hard work and long hours. It was a great experience where I learned the value of “working hard and playing hard”.

You may be experiencing some of the best time of your career right now. You owe it to yourself to capture a few memories along the way.

Here are a few photos from my IBM days:

Ginger and I receive Salesman of the Month honors from Macon

After the meeting we played golf and a had a big cookout, something we did once a year and it was great spending time on the big houseboat on the lake

Another presentation in an off-site event

It was the days of the 3-piece suit and white shirts, , , an early presentation

Ron and I after a sales call

This is what it’s about, , , my two senior mentors who helped me so much in my early career are on both sides as I receive a Regional Manager’s Award.
Charles Carroll and Jim Cockerham influenced my career considerably and I’ll always owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

How much was accomplished this month?

Today is July 31st, the last day of the month. Here are some questions worth asking yourself at the end of every month:

– “What did we accomplish this month?”
– “Did we achieve our objectives this month?”
– “Did I invest in my people to help them succeed?”
– “Did I develop myself in an area this month?”
– “Did we improve relations with our clients this month?”
– “What were the problems we had and did we learn from them?”

There are many more questions you can ask yourself, I’m sure, , , the key is that we need to evaluate our progress from time to time and the end of every month is a great time to do it.

Not only do we need to assess our IT organization’s progress, we need to quantify it and share the information with senior management, department managers and our employees. They all need to hear what their IT organization is doing.

Board of Directors interview

When I was to interview for the CIO position of my last company, it just so happened the Board of Directors Meeting  was taking place that week. The CEO asked me if I would meet with the Board of Directors, and I welcomed the opportunity.

The interview began with a few of the typical questions you get in an interview and then there was a great question, “Tell us why you will be a good fit for our company.”

I gave them a short list of accomplishments in a similar business and then made a comment I don’t believe they expected:
“If you are looking for a technical manager who focuses on technology, I’m not your guy, , , but if you are looking for someone who can quantify business needs and issues and focus IT resources to address them and to deliver business value for the company with your IT investment, that’s who I am.”

There were a few other questions and later that night I received a phone call with an offer to join the company.

The CEO told me later that one of the things that impressed them was how open and forthcoming I was about what they were getting with me and the fact I was not a technology expert was a good thing. The CIO I replaced was a technology focused manager and they could never understand what she was working on or why she was spending money in certain areas.