I am now transitioning to a new role, and leaving my old job behind. People always seem to take this job change thing with either:
- Malicious glee – basically laughing and telling everyone that they have left behind “so long suckers!”, or
- False modesty – with a carefully worded message telling everyone (and if I didn’t mention you I am so VERY sorry) what an honor it was to work with them, and that we should all get together for lunch sometime.
I will try to do neither (although I am sure my close friends will be able to provide examples of both of the above behaviors), and instead I will attempt to focus on what is in front of me. For me, it is an exciting time, a time when I am eager to look ahead to new challenges and new experiences. I think the thing to do when changing jobs/roles is to look back and see how you’ve done, and think about what makes people successful. I was reminded of this by a recent LinkedIn post by Patrick Leddin, which outlined the Five Invaluable Behaviors of Top Performers. Now I have read similar posts from other writers on performance, but I read his post and it made me reflect on the role that I had played as leader of the Jazz Jumpstart, Emerging Technologies, and DevOps/Cloud teams. His five behaviors read like this:
- Deliver Results; Don’t Just Pleasantly Accomplish Activities
- Solve Problems; Don’t Just Point Them Out
- Learn New Stuff; Don’t Just Be Comfortable
- Experience the Customer’s World; Don’t Just Observe It
- Provide Value That Is Not Easily Replaced; Don’t Just Do the Job
These all seem very simple things, and they are. The hard part is maintaining a focus on these areas as you deal with the day-to-day challenges that you and your team face. The real hard part is putting this into practice as you go about doing the non-glamorous parts of your job.
So why write about this in the first place? I do it as a way to remind myself to focus on these important areas as I move into my new role, and as a way to help the teams that I leave behind to realize their value, and to remind them that they need to focus on these things even when I am not around to remind them about it. I hope one of my new team members references this blog post in the future, while trying to convince me to change some decision I have made which doesn’t hold to these principles.
This will be the final blog in this series, and I have started rebranding this blog. That means new pictures (like my dog Jack) and new areas of focus. I will still be here at the same old address, and you can still come here to find my past articles on the economics of software development, Agile development, the Jazz tools, DevOps, and Cloud technologies. But from now on you will read blog posts about new technologies, like IBM Watson, and my observations on how to lead a successful team in helping to launch new technologies.