Thankful For My Life Transformation Mentors
Thankful For My Life Transformation Mentors
We’re only a few days away from Thanksgiving, and it got me thinking about transformation and the people in my life who have helped to transform my thinking and who had a huge impact on my career.
And I was wondering if there were lessons learned from people who helped me with personal transformation that we could apply to enabling business transformation.
The people who deserve the most significant credit for my personal and career transformation are clearly my parents.
Their work and guidance help to transform a little girl with dyslexia, to a confident young woman willing to pursue a career that was dominated by men.
They instilled in me the curiosity and drive to not let things stand in my way. They wanted to make sure that I could have the independence they knew I really wanted.
Business transformation requires a few people who have unwavering trust and faith in your vision and are willing to guide and help you to achieve it.
You just need to have a few people who will always have your back.
Charlie was my philosophy professor at the University of Colorado. While my major was computer science, I took his class to get a different perspective.
And one thing for sure, is I got a different perspective from Charlie and his brother Alan. The thing that I learned from Charlie was more from his own actions than anything he taught in class.
He taught me how to listen to people, I mean really listen. And the importance of listening to people because everyone wants and deserves to be heard.
Transformation is about holistic business and people change. Transformation requires that you really listen to your employees, partners, customers, and peers.
You may not agree or even do all they are asking but you must really listen to their perspective.
I worked for Ed Simon at Britain Lee in the mid-1980s. He was tough and held very high standards for work ethic.
He taught me that you must do the hard work, and that you only get credit for the value of what you actually deliver.
He taught me that procrastinating or getting distracted is not going to get your work done, and it’s just going to take longer.
So just do it.
Business transformation is hard work, and you just have to do it. Once you define how you were trying to transform your business and set forward a road map, you must stay focused and do the work.
And if you don’t, someone else might step in and they’ll deservedly get the credit.
I worked for Berl Hartman at Sybase in the early 1990s. It was a time that the whole design of software was changing from monolithic computing to open and distributed computing.
I had to learn a whole new perspective on what were classically straightforward problems. S
he also taught me the discipline of business plans, requirements plan, strategic planning, and project management.
Business transformation is a discipline that requires strategic planning, operational design, business architecture and communication skills.
Business transformation will not succeed if it is done off-the-cuff and without skilled planning.
I’ll never forget the day that Tony Percy once told me that a research note I had written was “trenchant.”
Now, I had to go look the word up to figure out whether this was a positive or negative review.
But I remember it because he had spent years working with me and challenging me to communicate my ideas clearly and succinctly.
I worked with Tony at Gartner in the mid-1990s. He was instrumental in helping me learn the power of effective communication.
Business transformation requires effective communication.
Your employees, executives, partners, and customers must understand the value of business transformation, your plans and roadmaps, and their role in supporting or helping business transformation.
I am thankful for the mentors in my life and career; the ones mentioned here and the many many others I had no room to mention.
I also found it interesting to consider applying personal transformation lessons to business transformation.
It shouldn’t be a surprise because business transformation is 80% about business, people, and culture and 20% about processes and technology.
Next time you run into a roadblock defining, garnering support or enabling business transformation, think back on life lessons and see how they might apply to your business transformation challenge.