My Foundational Five

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December 9, 2015 by Mike Hillwig

A few months ago, Brian, my boss, and I were fortunate to attend a leadership workshop led by Adam Jorgensen from Pragmatic Works. I think pretty highly of Adam, and the workshop was pretty incredible. He challenged the participants to define their Foundational Five.

Your foundational five is defined by answering the following five questions. My spin is that I wanted to have five answers for each question.

#1 – What does my team need from me?
#2 – What does the company or my boss need from me?
#3 – What do my peers need from me?
#4 – What does my family and/or community need from me?
#5 – What do I need from myself?

For the past few months, I’ve been stewing around what this meant, and I had some ideas in my head. But like a lot of things, thoughts are meaningless until you start to focus them and put them into writing.

Here is my take on Mike Hillwig’s Foundational Five.

#1 – What does my team need from me?

  1. To provide them with the tools they need to make good decisions
  2. To keep them educated and their skills current
  3. To provide them with experiences that will advance their careers
  4. To listen to their needs and concerns
  5. To provide a strategy that they can execute in order to support our clients

#2 – What does the company or my boss need from me?

  1. To grow my technology skills so that I can provide better guidance to my team
  2. To grow as a leader in order to help the company support our clients
  3. To grow my team in terms of their expertise and experience
  4. To take care of myself so that I can take care of my team and my clients
  5. My boss needs me to be supportive of his goals

#3 – What do my peers need from me?

  1. To continue being the company’s SQL Server guru
  2. To lead the team of SQL Server DBAs so that we can deliver on our promises to clients
  3. To bring my “A Game” every day
  4. To not take myself quite so seriously all the time
  5. To bring my experience to the table

#4 – What does my family and/or community need from me?

  1. Reggie and Ruby need me to be home in the evening so they aren’t lonely
  2. Reggie and Ruby need me to bring home the kibble
  3. The SQL Community needs me to provide leadership, guidance, and education to the entire community can grow.
  4. My family needs me to be there for them
  5. For me to be successful so that I can make the community successful

#5 – What do I need from myself?

  1. To stay healthy
  2. To earn a decent salary so I can do things like eat, travel, and own a home
  3. To continually better myself
  4. To keep learning
  5. To be true to myself