Author Archives: Jeffrey Gifford

Classical or Jazz?

I have long wanted to write a post on leadership using elements from Chain of Command, a pair of episodes from the Star Trek: The Next Generation series, but have struggled on where to start1—there’s just so much material to choose… (read more)

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Why? — a short follow-up

I successfully finished a ISO 9001 class last week on being a lead auditor and during the training was reminded of an easy technique for getting to the root cause of some types of problems we face, including as systems administrators.… (read more)

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On Walking as a Leadership Trait

One of my favorite leaders during my time at KeyCorp was a walker. He’d catch us early in the morning as he walked around the 6th floor. There were certainly faster or shorter ways to get to his office, but… (read more)

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Crabby Managers

I’ve been a bit crabby at work recently so when I saw this classic Peanuts strip from June 13th, 1965, I had a flash of insight into my own situation. Lucy, wearing dark shades, walks first into a fence (wump!), then… (read more)

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Worst Organizational Announcement email

At a previous employer it was not uncommon to send out “Organizational Announcement” emails from time to time. Sometimes it was a re-org, others a promotion, but frequently it was a resignation or transfer. In these cases it was customary… (read more)

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Escalate early, Escalate often

Coworkers and colleagues might remember one of my phrases: “Escalate early, Escalate often”. Today I got to use it anew and explain it to my current group of coworkers and colleagues. Escalation In short, escalation gets you needed resources when… (read more)

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Think about the next three

My company recently purchased three shiny new 1U1 servers, some new network and SAN equipment and a new rack to house everything. Just about as close to a true greenfield situation as you’ll find. And while it’s easy to install… (read more)

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Be Curious

Unless it’s incessantly coming from the mouth of a two year-old, “why?” is one of my favorite questions. And “how?” is right up there with “why?”—they’re practically cousins. Why? How? Why was it set up this way? How does this work? Why… (read more)

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Slight Deflection

You may notice a slight deflection over the next few months on these pages, not in theme and topic, but in perspective. Nothing major—I’ll still be posting on leadership, management and system administration—but the angle will be slightly different. In… (read more)

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Three top Business skills

Similar to top leadership skills and top management skills, top business skills may depend more on the situation than anything else. So picking three top ones (not the top three ones) remains a risky task but yet one I was… (read more)

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