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Blockchain 2 of 7 : Maintain a Voice of Reason

A very good friend of mine is in IT leadership within federal government.  We’ve worked side-by-side on several occasions and still keep in regular touch.  His favorite phrase is, “Enhance your calm”.  Note that he didn’t say, “Enhance my calm”.  He was specific to talk about “your calm” as encouragement.  That phrase has stayed with me for the past 2 decades and with a slight modification, I have made it my own.  I always try to walk into every situation with the intention to “enhance the calm”. 


The Presidential Transition Team ( PTT ) is an exciting time around GSA.  It is a high energy, high impact endeavor!  Preparation for these events start a good year in advance and in one particular transition “The Boss” was busy orchestrating a symphony of budgets, a suite of contracts and some of the most brilliant talent available.  I was asked to diagram, for the new contract team, how the enterprise was set up 4 years prior and give an overall briefing of our experience.  As the general election drew near, the Boss came to me a little concerned that the tech may not be ready.  He asked me to bring my team to the transition site to see why there seemed to be a struggle. After a few tests provisioning assets, we figured out the issue, successfully set up the accounts, and rolled out a laptop and blackberry.  I told the Boss, “You don’t have a technology problem, you have process problem”. He instructed us to, “provision 50 laptops and blackberries with our new process and stack them in my office by tomorrow morning”.  He wanted to “randomly sample the end product”. When we were done, we had a repeatable process that was fully documented.  The next morning the Boss greeting me with a smile, “We’re gonna make it”, and I replied, “Yes Sir, we are”. I learned a long time ago to surround myself with wise council. My team was awesome, a lot smarter than I was and we trusted each other.  We stayed focused, positive and confident as we engaged.  Together we were able to “enhanced the calm”.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”.  Some of the most brilliant minds in the high-tech industry are trying to “build a better blockchain”. The energy surrounding this technology is incredible and sometimes can be overwhelming.  Without standards, there is a little chaos.  I believe standards will eventually come; but for now, there are many mousetraps to choose from.  If you are in a leadership role and find yourself considering a blockchain solution for your portfolio, do yourself a favor and surround yourself with wise council.  Take advantage of the resources that are available to you and your team.  Instruct your team to keep the solution pure, modest and focused on the business requirements and strive to manage the chaos.  In your high energy, high impact endeavor, maintain a voice of reason and at all times, “enhance the calm”.

Peace Out !

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