Thought I would digress from my normal communications and marketing commentary on this occasion. Having just read a most interesting book, I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
The book is called Success in IT by Robert Williams (The Foundry Works, NSW, 2000). Some 30 of Australia's information technology and telecommunications leaders provide their professional views on the keys to success, their passion, good habits, drive and experiential insights.
As we all know, our industry is somewhat fluid and mobile - those at the top tend to move onto other roles more rapidly than in other industries. But of those interviewed for Success in IT, 47 per cent had been in their present position for more than four years. In addition, 63 per cent of the leaders were between 45 and 54 years old and there were none less than 35 years of age. Quite refreshing in what too many claim is a young person's industry.
The leaders are a mixture of founders of Australia's most successful IT related companies, MDs or CEOs of IT product and service providers and CIOs of Australia's largest companies. It was a delight to discover how human they all are as they face similar problems to the rest of us.
What came through to me from reading a good number of the chapters was not only the enormous diversity and richness in the personalities but the amazing similarity in work ethic. Their perseverance and propensity to act come through. Avoiding analysis paralysis' and being decisive in taking action is imperative in leading those around you.
Ideas are perilously short-lived and your precious intellectual capital can easily be begged, borrowed, or stolen. Nothing is more important to these leaders than getting it done! Implementation is the real source of competitive advantage. Even the best idea is only as valuable as the ability to execute it.
And integrity and honesty come through continuously. The need for those around them to have complete trust and believe that those at the top have their interests at heart is clear to each and every one of these leaders. They fervently believe that success eludes those in business who are unable to establish an understanding of their own personal integrity in regard to both customers and employees.
I urge all of you to add this book to your collection. It certainly continues to inspire me as I feel enormous pride in the Australian IT success way of doing business.
By the way, some interesting statistics include:
- 93 per cent are non-smokers, 100 per cent worked more than 50 hours per week - with 39 per cent working more than 70 hours- 83 per cent were risk takers- positive thinking was very important to 87 per cent- 90 per cent said they were very to extremely happy at work- 97 per cent either loved or enjoyed learning- 93 per cent often or always listened to their gut instinct' when making decisions.
Dolores Diez is a principal of it marketing at rivers of communication. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org