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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

August
9
2007
10:25 am
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I’m losing touch.

We (our IT dept) just brought up a new Jabber server, running OpenFire on a CentOS distribution of Linux and we support a lot of Trillian clients.  And I didn’t do it – someone else in our group did.  And they did a great job.  Why does that make me feel bad?

For the unititiated, I wrote a brief description of each of the terms used above (Jabber, OpenFire, CentOS and Trillian) in the extended entry, below.

I’m usually the one who does the cool new stuff.  I bring up this or that cool new implementation of whatever and then spread it around.  In the past, this has been Sharepoint, a whole call center, an inventory system, web analytics, you name it.  But more and more, I’m not the one doing those things.  The other people on my team are.  And they’re doing a good job.

Example 1: Jabber.  In no time, we have a new Jabber server and I didn’t have anything to do with it.  Now we have a secure, open messaging platform that’s FREE for our ~500 employees to use to chat, and it’s mostly self-administrating in that the openfire server talks with our Active Directory system so people automatically get created and it just plain works.

Example 2: file dropbox.  We needed a better way to transfer files to each other and to/from customers than an open FTP server (big security risk) or email (painfully slow and bad for our email servers).  So another of our guys went out and got some open source software, a spare server and now we have a production Dropbox server so people can use their web browser to securely drop off files to/from customers.

Example 3: SMS.  Microsoft has a management suite called SMS that lets you automate the deployment of operating systems and software packages to users’ machines, and it has some inventory capabilities.  We rely on SMS heavily at work, and I didn’t have anything to do with it’s installation or implementation.  That’s huge to me.

What is it about letting go of these projects that is so hard?  I’ve been told many many times over the last 10 years from various bosses that “Wayne, you need to stop thinking of yourself as an individual contributor.  You’re a manager (or director) now.”

I’m IT Director of a company that’s gone from $2M revenue to over $150M in 6 years.  In those early days, we would not have survived if I stopped being an individual contributor.  Now we’re bigger, and sure, there are more projects and more people to do the projects, but it’s still hard to give up the doing.

Maybe my motto all along has been – “I do.  That’s what I do.”  I still have a hard time being the one who plans.  Or the one who manages.  I like doing.  I like building, architecting, teaching.

Is this narcissism, always wanting to be the star?

(more…)


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