A recent article published in Certification Magazine entitled Developing your Leadership Skills by Katherine Spencer Lee lists some basic ways to develop into a leader:
1) Keep Learning2) Increase your Involvement3) Develop Your Communication Skills4) Serve as a mentor and/or mentee
I think that Katherine provides sound advice for all... and would like to embellish a bit with some suggestions in each of these categories:
1) Keep Learning
My blog is filled with suggestions for books, tutorials, and articles to read. I'll add to that list with some suggestions for books more in the business area:
* Reaching The Goal: How Managers Improve a Services Business Using Goldratt's Theory of Constraints
* Can Two Rights Make a Wrong?: Insights from IBM's Tangible Culture Approach
* SOA Governance: Achieving and Sustaining Business and IT Agility
* New Language of Marketing 2.0, The: How to Use ANGELS to Energize Your Market
* Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company's Web Site, 2nd Edition
2) Increase your Involvement
One of the best ways that I can suggest for you to become involved is via ChannelDB2.com. With 1057 members as of today, this is the perfect place for you to get and/or share information with other database experts in the world.
As a reward for those who get involved, they have a chance to win the IBM Data Champion Award. There is still time to nominate a champion... so if you have someone in mind, please go to the site and give them recognition. And who knows, maybe you'll be nominated next year!
3) Develop Your Communication Skills
You'll find loads of advice regarding how to improve your communication skills, just about everywhere you look, but the best advice I can give is that practice makes perfect. So look for opportunities to write, present, review, blog, podcast, etc. The more you do, the better you'll be.
I need to recommend a book as well! This is one of our classics, but is so highly rated that it is clearly a winner in providing advice for improving writing and reviewing skills:
* Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors, 2nd Edition
4) Serve as a mentor and/or mentee
Mentoring is such a key opportunity for improving both your skills and your network. Benefit from this book that was written by a team of IBMers: Drawing on IBM's experience, the authors demonstrate how to build a diverse portfolio of effective mentoring programs...use mentoring to strengthen organizational intelligence...build sustainable communities of mentors and mentees...promote collaboration across differences...and above all, link mentoring to strategy and use it to sustain competitive advantage.
* Intelligent Mentoring: How IBM Creates Value through People, Knowledge, and Relationships
All of the books I've mentioned in today's blog are IBM Press books. You may purchase these books in a number of places... the obvious is through amazon. Direct from the publisher sites include:
USA: www.ibmpressbooks.comCanada: www.pearsontechnology.ca/DB2EMEA: www.pearson-books.com/ibmpressbookshop
and in India, try our publishing partner Shroff Publishers. If they don't have the book on their site, send a message to them requesting a book and they will see if they can sell it on their site.
And last, but not least, for electronic versions of these books, you can purchase Kindle versions from amazon or subscribe to Books 24x7 or Safari Books Online.
Keep on Learning
Matching: buying X
One of the things that I'm trying to find out this year is where do people normally buy their books... and why. It seems that most people go to amazon.com. I go to amazon.com, but only to see the prices, selection, and reader comments. I typically buy at one of the local online bookstores such as amazon.ca or chapters.indigo.ca.
During my travels in the past month, I've found out that many people in Europe choose to buy directly from amazon.com rather than their local sites. Why? I think primarily because of the very favourable currency exchange... and also the price, selection and reader comments!
If you look at the bookstore site that my team maintains, we also point to amazon for the books that we mention. Not really to say that you should buy it there, but for you to see the price and the reader comments.
Since I work directly with several publishers, I also work directly with them on various book promotions. If there is a special discount promotion available for a book... I make sure that the details are mentioned on our bookstore site. For instance, next week you'll see the following information posted:
Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach to Managing Core Information
Save 35% on the new MDM book published in June that is sure to be the only complete technical primer for every MDM planner and implementer! Written by a team of 6 authors, this book systematically introduces MDM’s key concepts and technical themes, explains its business case, and illuminates how it interrelates with and enables SOA.
Save 35% with the following code at checkout:Coupon Code: IBM6250Active until 12/31/08
We've also arranged for people to buy IBM Press books direct from the publisher in Europe and Canada as well. Here are the sites:Pearson Canada - for a 35% discount on all featured books.Pearson EMEA - provides free shipping and duty for EMEA residents.Employees in Canada - contact me directly :)
For all other places in the world, international information is placed on this page: International sites
We now have many books available through MC Press as well. In the US, the recommended site is: MC Press Online. MC Press has published all of the DB2 V9 Certification Study Guides and have the long awaited Advanced DBA Study Guide coming in September. When MC Press has preorder information, it will be posted on our bookstore site.
In India, Shroff Publishers & Distributors Pvt. Ltd or Computer Bookshop. I see some IBM Press books on the Computer Bookshop site as well. Check it out and let me know if the prices are good!
I've mentioned Kindle before... If you have amazon's electronic reader, then you will be happy to note that all IBM books are kindle-ready! What a better way to have all the reference materials in a single place?
IBMers are encouraged to use Books 24x7 for electronic access to most retail books. All IBMers, worldwide, have access to Books 24x7. If you need info, let me know. If you don't work for IBM, you can pay for a subscription to either Books 24x7 or Safari for electronic books. You can read entire books electronically... or search a library of books for just the right topic.
I know I wasn't able to cover all the countries in the world. I'm still doing research! If you can help me by enlightening me on how you buy your books, please send me a comment! I'd love to hear from you!
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