A few weeks ago I resigned from EMC. My last day is 10 May. Similar to my last weeks at Intel, the “lame duck” period working for a soon-to-be-ex-employer usually contains the most fascinating and instructing weeks on the job. My days have been filled with friends calling to wish me luck, pick my brain, and find out for themselves as much as me what might be next.
Most are surprised that I am not going to another job yet. Invariably a pregnant pause follows me telling them I am going on sabbatical. I think they are usually wondering:
Well, no to the first two. To number three you’ll have to follow my actions for the coming year and reach your own conclusion! As others ask and challenge me about my future, we have had some friendly conversations of incredible insight. They have helped me form a clearer picture about what I need in my next job.
Last week to my colleagues and friends at EMC I announced that I resigned. I did this after obtaining the counsel of my trusted colleagues, many discussions with friends, and a prodigious amount of soul searching. And not without a little anxiety. But its now done.
A big part of how companies hire is based on easily measured skills, both hard and soft. We look for people that understand the technology, have demonstrated competence in execution, can communicate and lead, etc. And clearly these aspects are important to job success. But a previous personal blog entry got me thinking about activities indirectly related to success but possibly just as important.
That previous article focused on a team’s communication practices as a sign of health. But that is clearly not just dependent on policy and environment. Individuals’ capabilities are important. Not all people communicate as easily or effectively. There are degrees of directness in language, an ability to turn thought into words, the skill of reading a listener and modifying the message. All of these add up to communication intelligence that predicts part of a person’s contribution to a team.
My new responsibilities at EMC make me a part of a large transformational project. I have never before had the privilege of building or changing culture. But my managers have brought me into such a project. And we are doing it at very large scale. Thousands and thousands of people.
The first outward signs of the scope of this project came from a blog post by my second-level manager. If you are not in the industry the import of Chad’s post may be difficult to decipher. But those of us in technical sales recognize the ambitious nature of this change. Chad is not just trying to change reporting lines. He’s trying to change culture.
It has been a little over 24 hours since I touched down at Singapore Changi airport. My flight arrived a couple hours late thanks to a cabin pressure failure that sent us back to Tokyo shortly after taking off. But I am now safe in my new temporary home and fighting the jetlag as I get ready for my first day of work.