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Follow your Passion
Vinod Dham
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Most engineers get struck in practicing one of their skills. There is nothing wrong with that if that is the path they have chosen is the path of being an "Individual Contributor."

In fact companies like IBM, Intel, HP, Sun and others have a parallel track for individual contributors and those who want to share increasingly more managerial responsibilities.

In the parallel track one would aspire to be a distinguished engineer or even a Company Fellow leading to becoming the chief technical officer in some cases.

However, in a company, for each one CTO, there are many a general managers looking after different businesses, products and markets. If your passion is to deal with people, and be involved with developing business strategy for winning in the market place or become an intrapreneur or an entrepreneur-you may need to expand from writing code to discovering the insights on how businesses are run, how people are managed, motivated and rewarded. How a business strategy is developed and implemented. In other words learning how to "Connect the Dots" for creating a vision from assortment of loosely coupled information and weave a tight vision for your business. All of this requires one to take a "Management Ladder" in a big company.

To climb the management ladder one must hone their people management skills, team building skills, hiring and firing skills and project and program management skills. Presentation skills, skills for interacting with customers, suppliers, partners, stock market analysts, journalists and law firms - i.e. the outside world.

Motivating and inspiring your employees, setting up reward and incentives, promoting and mentoring your staff and clearly communicating the organizations vision and goals are some of the other skills one needs to develop to grow into the management ladder.
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