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Stephen IbarakiIndustry AnalystFCIPS, I.S.P., ITCP/IP3P, DFNPA, CNP, FGITCA, MVP
This is the next interview in the continuing series of Computing Canada’s (CC) Blogged Down (BD) which is featured here “first” in the Canadian IT Managers (CIM) forum.
We began this blog series on September 15th, 2006. I continue my talk with Gordon Ross, Internet Filtering Pioneer, Biometrics / Security / Telecommunications / Ethics / Privacy Expert, Founder of Net Nanny; President of Virtual Perceptions Systems Inc.
Stephen: With your long history of considerable successes, what leadership lessons can you share that would be of value to business and IT decision makers?
Gordon: I have been very fortunate, and I have also experienced very painful situations. The lessons I have learned are many. However, I believe first and foremost you must truly believe in what you are doing and be happy with that. Surround yourself with good people and work with them to instill teamwork. As a decision maker you must accept full responsibility for your decisions. You must allow those who work with you to be able to have their input heard. At the same time you must also hold them responsible for their decisions.
Do not use the old management style of “my way or the highway”. I have always treated those who work with me as individuals who are all part of the same team. They have the right to express their opinions, ideas, or concerns. You must also be able to allow and take criticism. It takes a strong cohesive team to win in the business world; an individual cannot do it alone. A good team will always look after and identify the weaknesses within the team. An open door policy is also very important. Treat all your employees as you yourself would like to be treated - and more importantly, respect them. A smile and please and thank-you go a long way. Do a lot of MBWA (Management By Walking Around) and talk to your employees, and more importantly, listen to what they have to say.
Stephen: As a mentor, what career tips would you provide to business and technology professionals?
Gordon: I would say join the technological revolution. Don’t stagnate or sit idle. Get involved or else you will be left behind. The technology industry offers a diverse area for careers. You can choose self-employment or organizational employment. The opportunities now and in the future are only limited by one’s own imagination.
In choosing a career in this industry, first believe in yourself. For all those times you are told you can’t do this, you are stupid, or you don’t know what you are talking about, look past that. Focus on your dreams, your goals and you will achieve them. Throw the word “can’t” away. It only means there is an issue or an excuse. The only thing that prevents success is you; not your boss or any other individual. Anything can be achieved as long as you have the belief and focus. A wise man, (my father), once told me that only three things are needed for a successful venture: a product, people, and money. If you have two out of the three you can always find the third, but you have to have two out of the three.
Another thing is to listen. Keep your eyes and ears open. Stay in touch and in tune with the technological community you are involved in. Read and absorb as much as you can. Attend trade shows and conferences, walk the floor and talk to people. Continually educate yourself and push the boundaries.
________________________In the next blog, Gordon will discuss future Internet trends, the main challenges facing businesses, and the issues for companies or organizations taking on a new direction.
For the latest online business technology news go to: www.itbusiness.ca________________________Thank you,Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.