“Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger published the data from one study in their 1996 book ‘Career Architect Development Planner’ which revealed that lessons learned by successful and effective managers are roughly 70% from tough jobs, 20% from people (mostly the boss) and 10% from courses and reading.”
Does that match up with your own experiences? Have you learnt 70% of what you know (in your career) from the toughest jobs you’ve done?
Now I’m not sure about how to measure this exactly, nor do I know what the definition of tough is (eg technically, politically, socially, environmentally, etc), but I can definitely say that I’ve learnt a huge amount from my most challenging assignments.
I learnt more in my final year of Uni than all preceding years when completing my practical project (I designed and built a WDM [Wavelength Division Multiplexing] network from resistors, transistors, hand-spun inductors, lasers, detectors, integrated circuits and custom-built circuit boards). I completely under-estimated how tough that would be when dreaming up that assignment!!
My biggest working challenges have been a couple of tier-one Telco OSS projects. Needless to say, those are the projects from which I’ve learnt the most too (and developed the passion for OSS).
Do you go looking for the toughest assignments? Are they on OSS projects by any chance?? 🙂
There are at least two people who subscribe to this blog who have spent years developing their own OSS, almost single-handedly. Now that’s what I call an insanely tough job! Both are insanely knowledgeable about almost all aspects of OSS. Massive hat tips to both for having the courage to chase the tough jobs.