Pomposity and the Sound of Heavy Gunfire

by Jason Williscroft

A young man approached me recently for advice on how to succeed in the Data Management industry. After I replied, I realized that any person who applies these principles—whether in Data Management or in any other walk of life—is someone I would be privileged to know.

So, at the risk of wearing out my welcome, here is what I told him:

  • Seek the most frighteningly difficult assignments you can find.
  • Approach each one with the heart of a servant, the eye of a skeptic, and the hands of a craftsman.
  • In an industry that runs on philosophy—if you’ve ever been to a Data Governance conference, you know what I mean—acquire a reputation for actually doing things.
  • Be one of the very few in every crowd—metaphorically speaking, one hopes, but for real if necessary—who will reflexively run toward the sound of heavy gunfire.

That’s it. Everything else is detail, which of course is where all the really hard parts live. But in that there’s no substitute for working it out for yourself.

P.S. Once you have done so, if you do happen to work in Data Management, measure yourself against this standard and then come work for me! 🙂

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