Welcome!

PHP Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Hovhannes Avoyan, Lori MacVittie, Trevor Parsons

Related Topics: Industrial IoT, Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, PHP, Ruby-On-Rails, Perl

Industrial IoT: Article

Walter Cronkite's IT Career Advice

Seven Career Best Practices Straight from the Desk of Uncle Walter

walter cronkite behind deskThe late Walter Cronkite as a role model for IT managers? At first glance, we might not see the connection between "the most trusted man in America" and high tech management. But if we pull back the layers of how Cronkite approached his job, there are solid day-to-day career lessons for those working in IT.

Seven Best Practices Straight From the Desk of Uncle Walter
1. Explain things in a simple way so everyone can understand. CBS' Bob Schieffer said people "understood Cronkite was guiding you through events." He translated the complex or hard to understand in a way that made you nod and think, "I get I now." When explaining the impact of an IT project for your organization, break it down so the non-techies get the light bulb over their heads. Explain it so your mother can understand it--use the criteria: how would Cronkite say this?

2. Have an unbridled enthusiasm. Neil Armstrong said that Cronkite's "enthusiasm was contagious." To the outside world, IT can be a drab, dry topic. When speaking about your technology contribution, inject an energy and passion about the project so the entire organization feels jazzed and gets behind your initiative.

3. Have a passionate curiosity. Schieffer noted that Cronkite had an, "insatiable, almost childlike curiosity about everything he did."  Keep your thirst for knowledge alive and find ways to instill that childlike curiosity in your team.  It will pay off in innovation.

4. Make people feel connected.  For Cronkite, it was getting people to feel connected to the event or story. Bits, bytes, clouds and servers might mean something to you, but for most non-techies in your organization, they are a "no compute." Find a way to connect technology's benefits to the day-to-day lives of its users. Talk about what technology can do for the end user.  Use analogies and real-world examples to make the connection strong and relevant.

5.  Don't make judgments; just present facts. One reason Cronkite was so honored as a newsman was he presented the story without embellishment or opinion. He was pure objectivity. When presenting your data and analysis, don't tilt the results. You can interpret the data fairly for the listener, but let the facts speak for themselves.

6.  Value accuracy.  Cronkite never had to make retractions or apologies for information that was not accurate. Think like a reporter: double and triple check your facts and sources and you'll never have to apologize for incomplete, inaccurate or outdated information.

7. Don't act superior. You never saw Walter Cronkite come off as someone who thought he was smarter than the rest of us. He was just somebody who did his homework. You know you "get" the technology, but acting as if you were Al Gore, inventing it, is not the best calling card. A better tactic might be to act as the interpreter of all that IT knowledge, sharing it in a way that makes people feel comfortable approaching you for insights and information.

Would you like to be known as the "most trusted man or woman in IT" in your organization? Not an easy task, but following Cronkite's timeless guiding principles is a great first step.

More Stories By Core Ideas

Loraine Antrim is co-founder of Core Ideas Communication, a communications consulting agency focused on presentation development and media training for C-suite executives. Core Ideas enables executives to package and communicate relevant and compelling messages in their presentations and interviews. Loraine's expertise is killing butterflies. You know, butterflies: the feeling in your stomach before you have to present or speak in public. Loraine works with executives to create a powerful story, memorable messages and an authentic delivery style. Confidence kicks in, and butterflies scatter. Nice work killing butterflies! You can contact Loraine at: manager at coreideas.com

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...