Yesterday I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing a surpassingly fine USAF lieutenant. Though I can’t say much about the conversation itself, I do wish I could capture the dignity and devotion to her mission that poured through her words and gestures. She was surprised to hear I was once in the military, but hid it well except to relax a bit more into the details of what the Air Force is doing to improve the lives of service personnel.
As the conversation rolled on, there was something I could not put my finger on, something about demeanor and attitude. I started to think of the many executives I have spoken with and why this conversation seemed to soar above the rest. It was the lack of guile, the simple statements of fact and the avoidance of any talk about hierarchies and chains of command, ownership, promotion of the ‘me’ and utter absence of jargon. Instead it was a search for facts, a hope to capture the challenges faced and a desire to explore the various options for solving the challenges. There was teamwork and joint effort and common ground.
There are many moments when you just know that a project is going to succeed, and they usually are struck through, these moments, with a sense of good fortune in the right people with the right motivation. Yesterday was such a day, and were I able to bottle that devotion, I am sure we could run many more IT initiatives to good ends.
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