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Conservative or Risky?

By Steve Jones,

I've been reading It's Your Ship, an interesting account of a Navy ship's captain and how he changed a culture aboard a vessel. I think it's applicable to business and it's a book I'd recommend. In fact, I need to write a blog about it at some point to stick to my resolution of blogging every weekday!

As I read the book and draw parallels to business, I'm struck by how closely many of the companies I've worked for are to the structure in the Navy. I'd always assumed that they would operate extremely differently, but I see now that's not really the case. There are definite differences, and actions can have very serious, and dire, consequences in the Navy, but the leadership and management of people is similar.

The captain of the ship has the last word in decisions and is ultimately responsible. The leader of a company, either President or CEO, is in a similar situation. For this Friday's poll, I thought I'd see what style of leadership you like.

Would you rather the leader of your company be a risk taker or more conservative?

As DBAs I think our tendency is to conduct ourselves in a conservative manner. We don't take unnecessary chances, we hedge our risk, and we try to protect our data in a defensive manner.

But is that what you've want of your company's leader? It probably depends on your business, how successful your company is and other factors. Most people, however, do have some preference. Would you rather the leader be aggressive in running the business and rely upon more conservative executives for advice? Or the other way around?

Personally I would rather have a more conservative leader that values aggressive advice, and acts on some of it, but stewards the business rather than runs along embracing each new opportunity. I prefer to see a business run as a long-term, perpetual entity that strives to make a profit and sustain itself, which is a more conservative view.

So what to the other DBAs out there want in their leaders? Let us know your preference this Friday.

Steve Jones

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