Why Software Artisans Should Manage Their Influence

Just read an insightful post from Seth Godin. If you don’t already know who Seth is, and follow him, I suggest you get to know him a bit. He’s a thought leader in the field of permission marketing–the founder of the movement, perhaps. He’s spoken at TED conferences numerous times. Every one of his books that I’ve read is worthy of pondering.

Although Godin isn’t speaking specifically about software craftsmen, I see direct application of his thinking to our field. Since so much of what we do requires buy-in, coordination and shared mental models, we have to be savvy about how we communicate, advocate, and train. Assuming equal technical competence, the difference between effective and ineffective technical leaders largely depends on the mastery of this skill.

Have you considered how to grow your influence? Do you have a plan?

Influence doesn’t always work the way we expect. :-) Image credit: xkcd

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2 thoughts on “Why Software Artisans Should Manage Their Influence

  1. Don says:

    The abiltiy to sell your ideas if of paramount importance if you want to drive and particiapte in change.
    IMO we have swept though the knee of the change curve. If you stop for a moment and look back you notice that things we saw not so many years ago in our environment are erased. Find me a cassette tape! One sign of change intensity is how many things have changed over a unit of your lifetime.
    We are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution that will be owned by small groups of people with great ideas and the ability to get them to market literally by themselves by using our networks and building on “open everything”.
    The top shelf of these Makers will be those that can sell their ideas on a gloabl stage….. Thanks for the link I appreciated the Seth videos.

    • I see the pace of change slowing in some ways, and accelerating in others. For example, I think Moore’s law (as he originally stated it, about density of transistors per unit area) has mostly played itself out. In some ways, software as an industry is beginning to look like automobiles; we’re settling down into producing refinements rather than radically different things. However, there are still fundamental shifts happening, like the rise of e-readers that redefine the publishing industry, massive distributed parallelism and mobile tech, etc. Your prediction about a new industrial revolution is very intriguing. It’s going to be fun to see what happens in the next few years!

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