My name is Andrew Ramsden, and Welcome to the first episode of the Alpha Geek podcast, where I speak with technical leaders about their leadership journeys, challenges they’ve faced and how they’ve overcome them.
So why am I podcasting?
The short answer is: I’m on a mission.
Cryptic? I know, I know. Let me explain…
Now, more than ever before businesses need great technical leaders.
Why do I say this?
- Technology is a fundamental enabler and driver of business value
- The pace of technology adoption and customer expectations continue to rise
- And the threat of startups to disrupt traditional business models is ever-present
Businesses realise they need to get with the program, but many are not sure how!!
Faced with the limitations of a traditional IT focus, more and more CEOs are looking to their CIOs and CDOs to step up and help connect the business, technology, staff and customers together. And so, the CIOs and CDOs are looking to their managers, tech leads and tech savvy influencers within the organisation to identify where the focus needs to be and help bring the organisation on the journey.
And this is where great technical leaders shine!
But it’s not easy! A huge amount is expected of the modern technical leader!!
It requires big investment and mastery in skills and experience: From tech knowledge to business savvy, a strategic mind and an eye for detail. Not to mention analytical problem solving balanced with the ability to communicate and influence people.
Everyone starts their journey with strengths and limitations. Great leaders then work to address their limitations and acquire the rest of the tools they need. And they know it’s an ongoing journey.
Us folk in technical industries have been labelled geeks and nerds our whole lives. But we’re taking that term back!
After all: The geek shall inherit the earth, right?
To me, a geek is someone who is passionate about their chosen field and about learning.
Many of the guests on my program have started in very geeky hands-on technical roles, others started in less technical roles, however, they are all passionate about what they do and how they can do it better.
As for me? I definitely think of myself as a geek.
After studying IT at uni, my career began with technical roles like systems administration, database engineering and front and back-end web development. And I really loved that work! At the risk of sounding cocky, I was good at solving problems. But when I applied that thinking to the broader issues I saw within the business around me, I wasn’t often listened to.
I wanted to be able to influence the business and have a bigger positive impact, but I didn’t know how!
So I focussed on personal development and took opportunities to transition into leadership roles. Then management, then strategic and executive roles. I feel really privileged to be involved with Digital Transformation and organisational change and leading these types of programs across large organisations became my specialty.
As my network expanded I started to get more exposure to the types of problems organisations were facing with Technology-driven Transformation and I heard many examples of failed initiatives and programs that under-delivered.
I wanted to understand why this was the case and compare my leadership theories with the experience of others. So I started talking to great technical leaders and (with their permission) I recorded some of those conversations. I also resolved to write a book about great technical leadership as there aren’t many out there. The book is still several months away from being ready, but I can start sharing the lessons with you now through these episodes.
Aside from this quest of understanding, my intention is to grow a sustainable business alongside the podcast and book. Which will allow me to continue the podcast and find other ways to bring insight and value to the world.
I’ll be speaking with guests at all stages of their leadership journeys. Some starting out, some have been in leadership and executive positions for a long time. And still others have moved into leadership only to choose to return to hands-on roles. I believe each journey is valid and provides insight we can learn from.
Leadership is a complex topic. On the show, my guests will share both the practical techniques and insights they use day-to-day along with their deeper philosophical reflection and wisdom. Combining both is how they’ve developed their leadership superpowers.
Their journeys have empowered them to not only develop ideas worth sharing, but successfully influence those around them to follow them and their vision for the future. Their positive impact on the workplace and the world around them is much larger as a result.
This is after all, what makes them Alpha Geeks.
But this show is as much about you as it is about them. If you’re a technical professional, and you’re looking to increase your influence, impact and/or income in the workplace, or if you’re a CIO/CTO/CDO and interested in how other executives think about technical leadership, then this is the podcast for you.
But I’ll be honest. Growth takes work. So if you’re not interested in personal development, then this show isn’t for you.
See, I know the type of people who will listen are like my guests. You’re passionate, love learning, and like me are on a lifelong journey of self-improvement.
We are the Alpha Geeks!
So again, Welcome to the podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.
Please subscribe. Leave feedback. Comments. Join in the discussion.
Podcasting is new to me, and I know there are going to be some blunders along the way, and that’s ok. I’m going to improve it over time, I really want to make it better and better.
I want to improve the show over time, and I would love to see the show and community grow and evolve in ways that support your journeys. So your input and participation will be crucial.
I can tell you, that I am super excited to go on this journey with you. I’ve really enjoyed the conversations so far and I can’t wait to hear what you think of them.
Until next time, remember: Think big, start small, enjoy the journey and never stop learning. Geek out!