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What Got You Here Will Kill Your Career


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The older I get, and I’m now quite old, the more I look back on things and apply a retrospective narrative. This is a bad thing. I am not the hero of my own story. At best, I am the anti-hero. And guess what? So are you.

As individuals, we love to glory in achievements whilst blaming failures on external factors, and IT departments are just the same.

I cringe when I hear a presentation about a ‘successful’ ITSM implementation where they say “A critical factor was we got senior management on board”

No, you didn’t.

For a few brief moments, your perspective happened to coincide with that of senior management. You didn’t bring them on to your team, you didn’t influence them, at best you FINALLY listened to what they have been telling you for years.

Do you know what is really sad?

Instead of recognising why we really succeeded, we attribute our success to our own brilliance.

And the result is we set ourselves up to fail in the future

“We achieved this result by implementing the “Shiny New Thing.*”

And then you leave your job, go to another company, and fail. And guess what? If you were to go back and look inside your old company you’ll find people saying “Never mention that shiny new thing ever again. Bring me New Shiny New Things”

Feeling bad about yourself yet? Then my job is nearly done.

Except for the difficult bit.

Honestly appraise why you really succeeded. Was it luck? Was it about relationships and trust? Was it just about having any kind of catalyst at all? Was it about the team around you, and their motivation?

Trust me on this, if you don’t do that kind of self-appraisal you will fail, and you will fail hard.

Trust me, I’ve done it half a dozen times.

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