October 4 was my second 10 year anniversary with a major corporation. I began this IT career in the late 20th century as a project manager, desktop support engineer, network administrator, and finally a Lucent PBX and Videoconferencing engineer for smaller companies like Hoechst Celanese, AZ Photoresist and Clariant corporation... as a contractor and IT leader. As I learned to solve problems(both the real ones and the political ones), and lead teams, I progressed up the ladder as you might imagine. I feel lucky to still be working and contributing.. Blessed profoundly.
The 21st century has largely been a tales of two companies. Capital One and then Cisco Systems have each provided me fantastic opportunities to learn and contribute to their growth as I continued to grow. Two decades... and roughly 20,000 career hours later... I am focused on wildly different priorities from that Y2K project that put me on the map as a technologist, leader and success corporate citizen.
I have at least another 15-20 years of this IT and corporate leadership work ahead... The future of work is as certain and uncertain as it has ever been. It is filled with opportunity and unbelievable challenge mixing tools, processes and people above all. Collaborate, Create, Communicate, and Deliver at Scale over duration... That is the record. I feel like I'm in a groove now, and I plan to continue to push the envelope of expectations, making changes, innovating and getting stuff done and most say can't be done.
Consultant and Solutions Architect, Jeff Prillaman has been with Cisco Systems since 2010 focusing on collaboration, contact centers, remote work, and customer experience. His role within TTG CX (Technology Transformation Group Customer eXperience provides him with broad industry and enterprise customer exposure. Prior to his tenure at Cisco he was a Director and business information officer supporting all HR/CRE applications and IT for Capital One Financial.
During a decade of service, he experienced and managed through the 2008 great recession, all while focused on transforming the workplace and workspace as Capital One embraced the Future of Work. He works and volunteers extensively with small businesses, churches, and local non profits of all sizes in addition to his corporate experience, and lives in Martinsville, Henry County in the rolling ridges of Southwestern Virginia along with donkeys, chickens, dogs, family… and tons of technology and singing.
How to be a trusted advisor. Know how to do things. Teach well. Communicate broadly. Commit to results. #SkinInGame integrity coupled with knowledge and experience changes the game. From companies to churches to families and friends.
Talk is cheap. Results at scale over duration showcase true professionals and expose the pretenders.
My assessment of your ability is related to my experience with others doing the same job and my desire for greater things. I don’t apologize for standards. I want you to do better.
Human understanding is about making sense when there is no sense to be found.
Don’t be so dizzy! 😉
consider, rationalize, discuss, prioritize, embrace, evolve and execute. Then, repeat.
"The synthesizing mind takes information from disparate sources, understands and evaluates that information objectively, and puts it together in ways that make sense to the synthesizer and also to other persons. Valuable in the past, the capacity to synthesize becomes ever more crucial as information continues to mount at dizzying rates.” ~ Howard Gardner
The idea that a meritocracy exists in academia and corporate America is largely fiction. There is a base level of information required and after that long term success is largely about relationships and resources. THAT is reality. #WakeUpAmerica.
Meritocracies only exists in small business and local local local and even then relationships and resources are key. Failure must be an option for merit to differentiate.
Life is not fair. The sooner you learn to deal with this, the better off you will be.
Doing more does not create successful outcomes. It isn’t enough.
Quality and focus are required for all activity. The assumption that every action is equal in results is a gigantic fallacy.
Quality and Quantity are NOT the same thing.
Every choice takes a toll and and every action requires resource expenditure.
Grown Ups choose and focus.
Children want everything and even attempt everything, and ultimately fail and diminish all.
Knowing is not enough. Good intentions are not enough.
Results are loud and clear markers. Doing the right things in the right amount with focus and excellence is how things change.
Church. Family. Business : Strategy is same.
QUALITY IS INDEED JOB#1
I spend a lot of time and energy reminiscing about my performing life, my time at Juilliard, and WCC and on stage... I am proud of my singing, and my family and my name/brand "vatenor". I consider my work in churches and with choirs over the last few decades and I aspire to be better.
I watch my friends disparage corporate america and I am sickened by the hypocrisy. Perhaps, it arises from a lack of experience and real world perspective. Here is mine: I am THANKFUL for my friends, and relationships and experiences and for my opportunities INSIDE Capital One, and Cisco, and with so many fine fine people. Those companies provided me chances, allowed me opportunities and encouraged me. Those companies are filled with AMAZING PEOPLE and with plenty of questionable people. The reality is that companies are made up of people.
Enough with the high minded, condemnation of corporate america. It is wrong. It is just as easy to condemn churches, universities, and even small businesses as predatory... I can write the narrative. The sword cuts both ways.
The big difference seems to be that successful companies focus on, and passionately care for their employees. In my experience, way back in the 20th century, that was not the case in performing world, academia, not as a student, not even as a young aspiring minister. As a performer I was one step above slave labor... expected to dance and sing on queue, with little to no respect for my artistry and skill. More often than not I felt exploited, and abused... and I was EXPECTED to just take it because that was the way it is... I contrast that with the nurturing and caring examples of some of my finest mentors in corporate America and the reality is stunning. All too often, those "EVIL" companies took care of me and my family. They paid me, they trained me, they allowed me to fail and gave me second chances. Above all I was RESPECTED. That is key I think. Respect followed with money, and security... and practice, not just rhetoric and facade and optics.
Today, I am the man and leader that I am because of those opportunities. The roles that I play were not written for me. I lived them, and continue to live them. There are good days and bad days, but on THIS day.. I am thankful to GOD for providing me a career path and opportunities to work in environments surrounded by great people. They work hard, they compete, they win, and they lose. We do it together. We work hard and we play hard. Ultimately, my choices are mine. The accountability is mine for success and failure. I wonder how my life might be different if I had stayed on the path of performer instead of family. It matters not, my journey to date is set. My future is filled with opportunity just as it always was. How will I choose? I do not know.
I give thanks for this day, this year, and for the opportunities to pursue many more ahead.
Intersection of principles and practices...