Hey Joe!

You

My brother is well known for a silly joke that he told for years…..

Let me set the scene for you.  There is a guy and girl sitting in the lower level seats at a sporting event.  People are everywhere.  The two are talking, having a great time, enjoying some nachos and cheese, and taking in the event.

All of a sudden, a guy several rows behind them yells “HEY JOE!!!!”.  The guy stops talking, looks to his left, as far as he can see.  Then he turns to this right, looking and looking.  Turns back and starts talking to the girl again.

A minute or so later – same thing…..”Hey Joe!!!!!’  same situation….

A minute or so later – same thing…..”Hey Joe!!!!!’  same situation….by this time the guy is getting frustrated.  He has stopped talking three times now, looked around, and tried to see who is yelling.

A minute or so later – same thing…..”Hey Joe!!!!!

The guy turns to the girl – with an angry look on his face – hands her the nachos and says “hold these for a minute!” and stands up turns toward the back of the ground and yells “MY NAME IS NOT JOE!!!!

My brother used to tell this “joke” everywhere he went.  It was not uncommon for someone in my family to say “HEY JOE” to my brother at family events, and he would turn around and say “MY NAME’S NOT JOE!!”. It is something that will stick with my brother for the rest of his life, I’m sure.

Whether you laugh at this ridiculously corny joke or not, there is a story to be told.

In his book, “The Purpose Driven Life”, Rick Warren opens with four simple words…..”Its not about you”.  And there could be no more true statement.  The young man in my joke was sitting in a whole crowd of people.  As you are listening to the joke, I’m sure you were thinking that this guy’s name would be “Joe”.  Why would you not?  He kept looking everytime the guy yelled “Hey Joe!!”.  But the punchline tells us the story.  A story about a young man who assumed that everyone was talking to him, and that surely this guy must be talking to him but have the wrong name.

Now I don’t think any of you would do this at an event.  If you or I heard someone yelling “Hey Joe!!”, we would just assume that this person was not calling for us (unless, of course, your name is Joe).  But thing I want you to think about today is beyond this story.  Are you living in a world where you think it’s all about you?

I’ll be honest….our society has evolved to the “me” concept.  As much as I love Apple products, they put “I” in front of each of them (iPhone, iPad, iTunes, etc).  We didn’t even have “selfies” until just recently.  But now everyone is posting pictures of themselves on social media everywhere.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone does it.  And if you’re a selfie fan, it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, or that you’re not a good person.  It’s just an observation of how our society has changed.

I remember growing up – it WAS about me.  I had to study to pass my classes, I had to decide what I wanted to study in college.  I had to take that job so that I could pay for my expenses in college.  I had to search and find that first job after I graduated, and I had to take care of myself.

But today I’m here to share with you 3 times that I realized it was not about me:

  • The first time I realized it was not about me, was when my son was born.  The delivery was difficult, and the doctors decided to do an emergency C-section to bring him into the world.  When he arrived, they handed him to me, and went back to taking care of his mom.  I remember that day very well.  The way he looked at me, as if to say “Are you the dude that is going to take care of me?”.  They say when you become a parent you finally realize unconditional love.  That was true for me.  And that was the day I knew I had to take care of myself, my health, my finances, and everything else, so that I could also take care of him.  It no longer was about me.  I was about me and him.

 

  • The second time I realized it was not about me was when I became a manager:  In 6th grade, I took a test on an Apple II/e computer and got my “computer certification” in elementary school.  I remember going home and telling my mom, “I’m going to be a programmer and I’m going to do that all of my life!!”.  Well, the first part was true.  I went to school to be a programmer, I got a job as developer, and I loved it.  But the true passion in my career came when I became a manager, and it was no longer about me.  The situation was very similar to having that first child.  I was now responsible for a “team” and not just myself.  My decisions would affect them just as much as me.  It was no longer about me at work, I was about the team.

 

  • The third time I realized it was not about me was when I became a speaker:  We love meetings in the office.  I participated in many meetings.  I even led many of them.  I had given advice and guidance, but in 2012, I realized a new passion that would change my future forever.  I was asked to speak at a conference on software testing.  Halfway through my 2 hour session, I started to notice something.  People actually “WANTED” to hear me talk.  They were listening to every word, and they were asking questions.  They were involved.  It felt like that moment, years before, when my son was looking at me on his “Day 1” – as if to say “are you going to take care of us?”.  I have made sure that along the way, as I speak more at conferences and events, I try to give each and every attendee something to take away with them that they can never forget.  It is no longer about me.  It is now about EVERYONE.

I leave you with this challenge.  Who do you meet often that you could make a difference in their lives?  What can you do today to build those relationships and make a difference in someone’s life, career, or future?

But wherever you go…whatever you do…never forget, “It’s not about you”.

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PLEASE COMMENT: Leadership – What Does It Mean To You?

I’m working on a presentation about leading the next generation.  And I want to get your inputs for this presentation.

Think of a leader that you have known in your life.  This leader can be a boss, someone at your school, someone you know, a president, a great speaker, someone from history…. basically anyone that you have witnessed as a great leader.

Now, think of what made them a great leader.  What were the 1-2 things that they did that stood out to you that made them great?  How did they interact with their followers?  How did they tell their stories and talk to the people?

I have just one request – please share your thoughts as comments to this blog.  I’d like to take your input and build it into my presentation as inputs from the community.

Thanks in advance for your inputs and comments!

I’m now published in CIO Magazine!

It gives me great joy and pride to announce that my interview with Jeffrey Fox has been published with CIO Magazine.

I hope that you, my loyal followers and readers, will check out this article and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!!

You can see it here:

CIO Magazine Article!!!

 
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Are You Smarter Than a Test Manager?

Does this title make you sing the theme to the popular TV game show “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” It probably does.

I wanted to inform all my readers that I have been selected to teach a course at the next Software Test Professionals conference (STPCon which is in Phoenix, Arizona in October).

If you’re in the testing field, or if software testing interests you, I encourage you to check out this conference.  This will be my third time speaking with them, and included with this all day tutorial, I will be speaking on two other topics at the conference.  Their link is:  STPCon Conference Site

Check out my tutorial course at the following link:

Are You Smarter Than a Test Manager – Mike Lyles Tutorial

My goal with this specific course is to pull together a room full of professionals in the testing world which will discuss the common areas where organizations are not in alignment.  Driving change and understanding will always revolve around first making sure the team driving that change is aligned.  Therefore, we will have a very productive and interactive session, and collaborate our thoughts, documents, and results so that everyone can take these ideas back to their respective teams and build creative and innovative solutions to the problems we face today.

Thanks to all of my supporters and blog followers!  Stay tuned for more to come!

Test Manager Survey – Running Now Through Saturday, March 23

** NOTE ** DUE TO THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSE I AM WRAPPING UP THE SURVEY ON SATURDAY, MARCH 23, TO ALLOW ME TO START COMPILING THE RESULTS AMD START MY PRESENTATION EARLY. IF YOU HAVEN’T TAKEN THE SURVEY YET PLEASE TAKE IT BEFORE END OF DAY ON SATURDAY, MARCH 23RD **

If you’re in the testing profession, especially if you’re a Test Manager, I am reaching out to everyone to get input for a survey that I have created to pull information related to Test Managers and the profession.

I am using this information to review within a presentation that I am preparing for the Software Test Professionals conference in San Diego, CA (STPCon) April 22-25, 2013.

Please go to the following link and take the survey – the questions are very simple and should only take a few mins to go through and respond. Also, please share the link with all that you know that could submit responses as well. Here’s the link!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/mike-lyles-test-manager-survey

Thank you so much in advance for your help!

What do YOU know about Test Managers?

Calling all testing professionals, practitioners, and enthusiasts!

I’m working on the material for my STPCon presentation “A Day In The Life of a Test Manager” in San Diego (April 22-25,2013) and I’m soliciting your inputs on specific areas you would like to discuss in the course. As I wrap up my own plans and ideas, I’d like to pull in specific input from this forum to add additional material to the presentation.

The following is the description of the presentation

Test Managers: the world is full of them. But do we really know what they do? Does your organization agree on the core roles and responsibilities? The answer is probably “No” for many organizations. This session will examine the day-to-day life of past and present test managers, case studies on their practices, review results of a survey taken among various test managers, and suggestions on which responsibilities need to be core in a successful quality organization.

I plan to have topics regarding Test Managers and Test management that are common among all organizations as debate items – specific discussions where half the room may feel one way and the other half feel another way.

Some questions that I am currently polling various groups on are:

  1. How would you describe the roles, responsibilities of a Test Manager? What are the skill sets that successful future Test Managers should possess?
  2. What are the challenges of the Test Manager Role in your view? Does the role vary a lot across industry or the core of the role remains same always? How important is People Management as a skill required for a Test Manager role? What weightage (%) would you give it in the role for a TM.
  3. Which are the major conflict zones in a testing organization , internally within themselves and externally with the other teams – PMO, Development , SCM, Release Management team, Maintenance team , Environment teams .

I appreciate any inputs you have or areas where, if you were an attendee to a conference presentation of this title, would want to see discussed.

Thanks in advance for your inputs and help!!  Please add your ideas, notes, suggestions, questions, comical remarks, or just simply your support as comments below!!!

NOTE: Come back in a few days – I will be posting a survey for which I will be putting together questions that both I (and each of YOU!!) have put together, for a survey on Test Managers, which will be used to share the results with conference attendees!