[Interview] Part 6: Allen Atwell – Career Advice for Managers, Top Resources and a Final Tip

In this blog series, I have an exclusive interview with Allen Atwell, a top international IT expert and authority, a leading senior executive and the Chief Technology Officer at MessageLabs.


Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., MVP

Allen Atwell

Q9: As a leading senior executive over a long successful career, what specific advice would you give to make managers more effective?


  1. 1. Walk the floors of the business
  2. 2. Meet with customers
  3. 3. Take calculated risks
  4. 4. Make new mistakes
  5. Spend time with employees at all levels in the company
  6. Get to know all aspects of the business
  7. Meet colleagues after work - go out to dinner or invite them over
  8. Have a passion

Q10: Which are your top recommended resources and why?


  1. Networks of colleagues: Mine from TI, Digital Equipment, AT&T, SWIFT, Trade.com and Oracle will all be good friends/colleagues for life.
  2. The Internet: I regularly log on to professional networking sites such as Linkedin.com to find talent, call on resources and locate references.
  3. Mentors: John White, Texas Instruments, John Newell, AT&T Bell Labs and Sergio Giacoletto, Digital Equipment, AT&T & Oracle.
  4. Competitors: Competitors are instrumental in setting high standards to stay ahead of the curve.
  5. Suppliers: I especially enjoy working with Telecom Service Providers (both Fixed & Mobile) as partners and customers. With the rapidly evolving technology, providing solutions to very large distributed populations at a low cost may compensate the 'Digital Divide'.

Q11: Provide commentary on a topic of your choosing.

A: It is rare I will turn down an opportunity to talk to someone. There is something to be gained by every communication. In doing so, you learn how much to give and how much to take away from every encounter.

Closing Comment: Allen, we will continue to follow your significant contributions to the IT industry. We thank you for sharing your time, wisdom, and accumulated deep insights with us.

A: Thank you, it's my pleasure.

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