An Interesting Example of Career Leadership

In my role I get the opportunity to speak with many individuals, listen to their comments and read many articles that give opinions on the IT Industry.   As well, I get to provide input into the fray and those who know me can validate, I’m not one to sit quietly when I have an opinion.  I really think that there is a lot to learn from others, no matter their origin and at times, I’d rather learn from someone else’s challenges then relearn them myself.

That being said, I’ve learned that you have to take many of these comments and opinions at face value and understand where they originated from.  Historically I found that many key individuals usually temper their comments due to where they work or who are their partners and it is really hard to get their real gut feel.   Yeah, I know I’m no different when I comment on the Industry and I’m Ok with that.  I believe you’re environment and experiences have a significant impact on your opinions.  There is no one person that doesn’t have some sort of bias, been influenced by their environment or have had their experiences lead their decisions and I think that’s a good thing.

The reason I bring this up is due to some great work I seen from Shane Schick of this morning.  He had a wonderful interview with Mike Woeller (former CIBC CIO) and while I wasn’t in agreement with all his comments, I’m really impressed that Shane has taken the time to get his perspective.  I thought this interview was really interesting on two fronts.  Check out the story @

Firstly, from a learning perspective I was impressed with his insight. It isn’t often that you can get a perspective from a Corporate CIO … on the record that doesn’t have some sort of external caveat to it.    I know that it still has Mike’s agenda tied to it and as above, I think that a good thing. 

Secondly, from a Career perspective I think that Mike is showing a great leadership skill in keeping current.  When you’re a free agent, taking an extended time away from the industry or going through an extend job search… it’s up to you to still manage your career especially if you're like many of us who enjoy what we are doing.  While spending time with the kids or looking for your next job you still have to think and plan for your future.  It’s not going to take much of your time and if done right can even be enjoyable.  This is an important step and while not all of us are going to get an interview with Shane, it is important to stay connected.  There are many ways you can do it ranging simply from having coffee and sharing stories with your friends, networking at industry events, joining CIPS or even putting your name out there with a blog.  

Keeping fresh is really important and it will pay dividends when you finally get back in to the game.   It’s up to you to make sure you keep your “brand” alive.




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