Superman Leadership

Superman Socks.jpeg

This guy’s socks were very cool.

If you can say that socks make the man then perhaps this is it.

Superman that is!

No special shirt, underwear, or cape required–the socks communicate it all. 

For the man of steel or one in the making (if worn at workout time).  

Then again, I was trying to imagine someone actually having the guts or nuttiness to wear these to the office.  

If they would, it probably be with the following in mind: 

I can do anything helpful to get the job done–

1) Rolling out cutting-edge systems and business process improvements faster than a speeding bullet

2) Creating positive change more powerful than a locomotive

3) Able to leap with integrity over organizational obstacles, red tape, and naysayers in a single bound

It’s a change consultant. It’s a corner office bureaucrat.  It’s a “superleader!”

Up up and away…it can be done (even without the socks). 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Technology Hope For The Future

Tech Expert In Training.jpeg

Ok, this gives me tremendous technology hope for the future. 

This 4-year old kid is working diligently on her smartphone, while her mom is shopping not far away in the clothing store at the mall. 

She didn’t seem to care about the clothes hanging all around her or the fun in the mall or really anything else at all…she was content with her tech!

And while I certainly believe in work-life balance and in kids being able to really jsut be kids, there was just something so amazing about the promise of technology, especially for those who are now growing up with it. 

After all, it was very cute how intent this kid was with all the technology power right in the palm of her hands, and I could easily see a budding CIO in the making here. 

And of course, with even better and more capable technology in the future. 

Through technology and belief, we can find hope in the impossible. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cloud Pleasing

Cloud Pleasing

Technology vendors have wised-up and are rushing to the cloud to give customers what they want. 


You want cloud?  


You got cloud!


Cloud Computing with the virtually infinite promise for flexible, cost-effective, on-demand computing–all centrally managed by the vendor–you can sleep easy at night, oh baby. 


CIOs love it. 


The only problem as everyone moves to the cloud is the promise of the cloud continues to fall short


Now how unpopular a thing to say is that? 


Take out the guillotine…


Seriously though, it was supposed to be flexible, but it isn’t so much as vendors contract with customers for multi-year deals and customers find switching vendors not quite so easy…anyone hear of vendor lock-in?


Also, cloud was supposed to be more cost-effective, but vendors still need to make their margins, so longer commitments, service bundling, minimum fixed costs, and variable month-to-month pricing–sure helps things add BIG DOLLARS for the cloud vendor. 


Then you have vendors that simply call everything cloud…ah, “cloud washing” that is.  If you think you are getting cloud (even if it ain’t so much so), yippee are you happy…you have drunk the cool-aid and it is sweet.


Technology leaders swooping into a new job want to come in with a bang…”Hey, look what I did to modernize, transform, reinvent, revolutionize…and save money too–thank G-d, they hired me.”


So cloud, cloud, cloud…it sounds so CLOUD PLEASING, I mean crowd-pleasing. 


Whether in the specific situation it’s better or not, that’s not the point, stupid. 


At least, it’s out of our hair–let the vendor worry about it!


One, two, three…everyone say “CLOUD!” 😉

CIO, Social Butterfly Or Tyrant

Friends
So I’ve seen it both ways…



There are those who “lead” by friendship, as if the workplace is one big playpen; and the notion is that those who have the most office buddies wins; to them it’s not the mission or work that is important but rather it’s a popularity contest, plain and simple–they are immature and still stuck in the preschool mode of thinking about what leadership is and how to work productively with others. 



Then there are others who “lead” by tyranny–it is a one person show and they are it; no one else has an viewpoint or idea that matters; anyone else who is good to great is a threat to them–they are insecure and narcissistic and the scariest thing in the world to them is to surround themselves with people smarter than themselves or give credit, respect, and honor to others.



Now there is nothing wrong with doing a coffee, lunch, or happy hour, networking, and building relationships with good people…in fact, interpersonal skills is a critical part of the job and of success.



However, those who flutter around smoozing it up with anyone and everyone, and unlike normal working discussions that have a congenial, “how you doing?” aspect and a serious, let’s get down to business part, these social butterflies never get past the game on last night, their trip to Paris, or their one night stand…it’s all personal, conferences, speeches, but no real work getting done (maybe some smoke and mirrors). 



Similarly, there are times, when decisions need to be made and the debate must end, and not everything in the office can be a vote where majority wins–sometimes tough decisions and trade-offs need to be made, authority exercised, and responsibility taken.



Nevertheless, it’s when moderation and good judgement is lost and a person’s emotional issues, personality disorders, and social anxieties take over that they act the fool–and they either rule by shaking hands and kissing babies (or the office equivalent of favors, favortism, and coffee or drinks, I’m buying!) or they are hard-a*sed, prickly jerks who cannot work with anyone that can pull their own weight and instead we see a flurry people make a dash for the exits. 



How do either of these types of people become leaders of anything? Don’t the executives they report see or hear the chaos in the ranks below and the projects going bottom-up, kaput?



We’ve got to get along and nothing wrong with work friends, but we are here to do a job and do it well and for that we need to come together as decent human beings who treat each other with respect, dignity, and where everyone can make a valuable contribution–CIO social butterflies and inglorious tyrants begone! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Technology Easy Sell

Benefits and Risks
Technology is not like buying a time share, thank G-d. 



We examine the costs and the benefits, and it either works and provides us a tangible competitive benefit or it doesn’t.



“You can’t be competitive without modern technology, you’ll simply be out of business.”



At the end of the day, you don’t want to be sold a worthless bag of goods from a no good (not genuine) salesperson. 



Read about it here in my new article in Public CIO. 



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)