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Devin Knight

Devin is a BI consultant at Pragmatic Works Consulting. Previously, he has tech edited the book Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services and was an author in the book Knight's 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. Devin has spoken at past conferences like PASS and at several SQL Saturday events. He is a contributing member to the Business Intelligence Special Interest Group (SIG) for PASS as a leader in the SSIS Focus Group. Making his home in Jacksonville, FL, Devin is a participating member of the local users’ group (JSSUG).

The Wise Old Man Part 3

In my previous posts The Wise Old Man Part 1 and The Wise Old Man Part 2 I wrote about a great session I attended during SQL Saturday #8 in Orlando by Steven Jones.  This session was all about building your brand and making yourself stand out among other IT professionals.  The session influenced me enough to continue writing a series of blogs about it.

If you read the last post I was working on using some techniques to better my speaking.  In this post I want to write about what I can do to be a leader and more specifically what I can do to be a thought leadership.  Steve talked about a couple different ways of being a leader but the idea of being a thought leader really stuck with me. 

A thought leader is someone who is recognized for having innovative ideas and can demonstrate the confidence to promote or share those ideas (This is Wikipedia’s definition so someone could have edited it to say something else by now) .  Steve used Andy Warren as a great example of a thought leader because of his idea to have a free event where the SQL community can come together and learn called SQL Saturday.

I think this step might be the toughest step to building your brand of all that I have listed.  Not only do you have to come up with great new ideas but be confident enough in your ideas to share them with others.

Here’s some of the steps I plan on taking to improve my leadership.  There’s got to be more than I have come up with.  Maybe someone else can help me with that.

  1. Sit with others BI professionals to brainstorm great ideas to improve our profession.
  2. Keep a notepad close by to write down ideas

I’ll continue writing about my progress and here are some of my other steps that I’ll write about in the future.

Steps Progress
1.  Writing Building blog pipeline, thinking of article topic, and start answering forum questions
2.  Speaking Past Speaking Events: SQL Saturday Jax, SQL Saturday Orlando, and JAX User Group Meeting
Future Speaking Events: PASS Nov. 19th
3.  Leading Find ways to be a thought leader (come up with great ideas)
4.  Volunteering Find ways to not only volunteer to be a speaker but volunteer in setting up events.  The backbone of events seem to be volunteers working behind the scenes doing things like getting food for 250 people.

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