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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The path to GM

Steven Sinofsky's Microsoft TechTalk : The path to GM -- some thoughts on becoming a general manager

Same as many other books that talk about wealth/career management, this article is also recommended. As I backquote the summary below:

Be patient.  If you take your time and work with your management chain, your chances of success definitely go up.
Be excellent.  The first key is to be among the very best performers at your core discipline.
Gain adjacency experience.  A good, but not necessarily critical, next step is to gain experience in an adjacent discipline.
Respect and understand all the disciplines.  It is not possible for any one person to work in all the disciplines you might manage someday, but you should spend a good deal of effort learning and understanding the other disciplines before you have to manage them.
Work on multiple product lines.  Figure out for you and your organization what the right type of experience change you should have and seek that out when you feel like you’ve reached a good level of functional excellence and performance at your current role.
Find a mentor.  See if there is someone in the company who followed a path similar to the one you would like to follow and meet with them to discuss your career.

Among all I do think “Find a mentor” is the hardest. It all depends on your luck and the people you can get along. Hence in my “Total Self Management” scheme, broadening my social network contributes a crucial part too.