People I influence

December 12, 2018

This month’s writing task is to describe a time when we influenced someone. Thanks to Jason Brimhall (@sqlrnnr) for hosting. I should’ve got this post completed before now – it’s already nearly an hour past the end of T-SQL Tuesday in the GMT time zone – first time I’ve missed the deadline, but I think grace will hold out until Tuesday is over everywhere in the world.

I’d like to think I influence a lot of people – I’m a community leader (hosted the local SQL UG since 2005) and long-time MVP – but I’m also not comfortable thinking about whether I have influence or not. I can think of people that I hope I influence, but I also wouldn’t want to suggest anyone, just in case I’m wrong!

But there is definitely one group of people that I think I influence, and that is my employees. Over the ten years I’ve had the company there is quite a list of people that I’ve employed. There have been as many as seven in the company at one time, and while we do have turnover, there aren’t too many more than seven that have been with me at some point.

Now, sure I pay these people a salary, so they have to adhere to the company culture to a large degree, but I hire people to increase the reach that I can have, and serve more customers. To that end, it’s important that I influence my employees to be the best they can be in that service, making sure that the company is both viable and effective, leaving a positive impact on the data stories of our customers.

Every one of my current employees, and the vast majority of my former employees, are conference presenters and involved actively in the community. For a while now, I’ve thought that I would rather employ MVPs than be one myself (although I hope this doesn’t actually cause me to lose my status), and I have often looked for opportunity to get my team in front of people. At SQLSaturday Perth a few months ago, all four of us presented (by far the most). At Difinity in 2017, no company – not event Microsoft – had more presenters than us. Recently, my former employee Heidi Hasting did amazingly well at Speaker Idol at the PASS Summit, although presenting is something she’s only got into since leaving the company.

Needless to say, I’m tremendously proud of my employees. They’re all brilliant.

Hopefully I’ve been an influence in their brilliance, although I suspect they were there already.


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