I was on the phone with my partner John and he had just told me that I needed to be on a call with Intel to discuss some partnering possibilities. I was sure that I had misheard him.
“They want to talk about what?”
It was truly a meeting of the minds. A few people who found that they shared a common view of what was happening in our industry and wondering how we might work together to make a difference – even if was a small one. And from that conversation, the Transform IT Show was born.
I would love to say that we were these great masters of strategy and that we concocted this elaborate strategy that we have been dutifully executing on ever since. But that’s just not what happened. The show started as a simple “what if” question and has been evolving ever since.
But even knowing that this was going to be a crash course in a lot of ways, I still don’t think that I was prepared for the real lesson that I would learn by doing the Transform IT Show.
Lessons for IT Leaders. Lessons for Life
“I just want to thank you. Those were some amazing life lessons you shared. Thank you.”
We had just finished shooting the first episode of the show and as I was busy trying to figure out how to unplug my mic, the film crew had walked up to Charles Lee and had expressed their thanks.
I think that it was at that moment that I realized that this show might be something special. While I was focused on the lessons that I hoped our guests could share with the up and coming future IT leaders, the reality is that the lessons that we were sharing were not all that specific to IT. As it turns out, the keys to succeeding in IT are not that different than the keys to succeeding in life.
This pattern repeated. In each episode, the conversation seemed to continually drift back to these universal truths. And almost inevitably, the film crews would take a moment to thank the guest they had just filmed for the sage advice they had just received.
It seemed appropriate to reflect on the amazing conversations that we had through the seven episodes of season 1. As I did, several themes seemed to emerge. I came to see them as “universal truths” that are critical to future IT leaders – but are really applicable to just about everybody.
I believe it is the fact that this is what we’re talking about – the essence of what it means to be a leader, the core of what it takes to have impact – that has made the show such a great, early success. And while every guest’s story was different (sometimes wildly different!), these “universal truths” emerged:
- Be willing to say “yes” and to take the risk.
- Know yourself, who you are, what you want to achieve – and then be true to that vision of yourself.
- Believe in and invest in people, build relationships and don’t underestimate the human side of the equation (what Frank Wander called the “Human Infrastructure”).
- Continually expand your perspective and world view.
- Focus on the value of every service you provide and every interaction you participate in.
As I have gone back and watched each show, I was struck by both how different each interview was – and yet, how similar they were in so many ways. Whether we were talking to Ray Noonan about how he broke down barriers to create a culture of collaboration, to Patty Hatter about her “curvy path” that has given her the perspective to bring business and IT together or to James Jorasch and Rita J. King about the “Imagination Age” and how they just think a bit differently, these same themes emerged time and time again.
To say that I’ve had an amazing time hosting the Transform IT Show would be a gross understatement. It has been such a privilege to share these stories with you and to ensure that they have the opportunity to be heard.Be sure to what the next wave of business executives, IT executives, futurists and industry wave makers in Season 2.
About The TransformIT Show
Each episode explores the questions:
What does the future hold for IT organizations?
And what will that mean for their future leaders?
Host Charles Araujo interviews business executives, IT leaders, futurists and industry experts to understand how their career and experiences shed light on what the future holds for business and the IT organizations that power them. Most importantly, our guests share their advice for all future leaders about how to survive and thrive in the Digital Era.
NOTE: Shows were filmed when we were know as the IT Transformation Institute. The series is available on our YouTube channel.
Founder & Institute Fellow
Charles Araujo is a technology analyst and internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise, the Digital Experience, and the Future of Work. Researching Digital Transformation for over 10 years, he is now focused on helping leaders transform their organizations around the digital experience and to reimagine the future of work. Publisher and principal analyst of The Digital Experience Report, founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation, co-founder of The MAPS Institute, and author of three books, he is a sought-after keynote speaker and advisor to technology companies and enterprise leaders.
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